Personal Thoughts, Selected Photos, and Culture Revelations shared by Odile

Posts tagged “traveling

La France: Truth or Myth?


Hey WordPress Readers!

I’m hoping that this post will hopefully enlighten those who are inspired to visit or..to re-visit France for a longer period.

1. French toilets are erroneous

…TRUTH! Public restrooms are usually unsanitary, however, there are quite a few which are decent.

If you are in Paris and are in need of a toilet badly, try to find the nearest shopping mall or hotel that will accept you to use their service. Nowadays Paris has become pretty money-minded due to all the tourism; it charges for public toilets. I swear, there is such a thing as ‘French tourism toilet income’, and it’s no guarantee that the priced ones are ‘clean’.

Good luck! SIT AT YOUR OWN RISK :D

2. The French are absolutely rude

MYTH! This has got to be the biggest/most common stereotype about the French (at least from my conversations with Americans). They are not rude. Sure, they may come off slightly reserved at first, but it’s just a matter of you making the first ‘leap of faith’.

It will most certainly take courage but it will be worth the 10 seconds you’ll spend introducing yourself and starting the journey of a new friendship.

In my opinion, the French are not like a majority of Californians who will suddenly jump at you trying to get to know you, and then that will be the first and last time you’ll ever see them.

The French are strong in the area of Friendship Bonding. It takes time and patience, but definitely rewarding.

3. Be fluent in French before visiting the country

MYTH! You don’t need to have spent 5 years of your life learning French..to only let yourself travel there. Wouldn’t that be too strict with yourself? I suggest people who go there to buy a petit livre of conversational French on your trip.

In order to avoid making a bad impression to the French, begin the conversation with a few French words. Don’t worry about your mistakes. Show that you are putting an effort in speaking the foreign language instead of ‘Hello. I come from *name of country*’

See my point?

4. They hate Americans

MYTH! haha, you may breathe now!

French don’t hate Americans, however, they do have a ‘low view’ on them ..in general..and I agree with the French.

I’ll be talking about my personal point of view on this one, so don’t get angry if you think differently. As an example, my classmate has asked me : “Which countries is Chinese or whatever Chinese language is, is spoken?” I just stared at him.

Also, there were quite a few of my friends who had no idea, whatsoever, of whom Andrea Bocelli is.

I don’t listen to Opera music…but at least I know who he is; It’s like someone who does not have a clue of whom Mozart is because he doesn’t play the piano.

For many Californians (I think), their nation is a superpower and that is all that counts. IGNORANCE.

5. La Gastronomie Francaise!

TRUTH! French food is definitely varied.

it is superrr delicious that I can’t even explain using words. French cuisine is extremely authentic and exotic- it varies from chicken to intestines. (Not only do the Latin Americans and Chinese eat those stuff…)

One of my favorite dishes is called ‘Steak Tartare’. In short words for this exquisite dish- it is just raw meat. Unfortunately, I’ve never  prepared it in the States due to the use of unknown amounts of hormones in the meat…

6. The culture is sophisticated and perfect!

TRUTH! but..with an exception.

I know this is sooo general but they are really chic from the areas of fashion to culinary arts. If you’ve heard of so many praises of France throughout your life, it’s not false, and neither is it an exaggeration! It is true!

People who visit France for the first time are completely blown away by the French aspects of the rich culture.

There is an exception to this statement though… In my opinion, there are not many talented French singers; French music is pretty weak. In vocals, they are in need of improvement.

AND THAT’S MARION COTILLARD! <3

7. They Stink

MYTH! What is with this stereotype??

The French are not stinky and therefore don’t smell bad. I’ve met and kissed lots of them but I’ve never had an instance where I thought to myself : “When was the last time he took a shower?”

Also, French perfumes are extraordinary! Most people use those expensive, good-smelling products. THEY SMELL FRESH.

8. Women don’t shave

TRU-MYTH! I’m not too sure about this one…

I can’t say that all women don’t shave..but I did meet this French madame who showed her underarms…and it was bushy (period)

9. Nude French Beaches!

TRUTH! Yesss! There are nude beaches!

Don’t be mislead though- Not all French beaches allow nudity; Only a few beaches do…so tourists, don’t be disappointed if you happen to make a spontaneous drop by a French beach during your vacation and not find a topless woman…:)

10. SMOKING!

TRUTH!

So many smoke….a lot! It’s a habit of the French people. They know it’s bad, but they’ve become addicted.

Many begin smoking at 16…It’s part of the culture…

When visiting Paris, you’ll be exposed to all the Tobacco smoke, so be ready :)

I believe that when the French smoke, it’s more a fashion statement than a liking for it.

He’s Jean Baptiste Maunier :) 

Merci!

Odile


9 Must Know Facts About La France

4

Hello again WordPress Readers!

I’ve decided that for this post, I’ll give you some insight about French culture. I’m a French citizen because I was born to French parents. Thanks to them, I’m fluent in French. However, I’m stuck in San Francisco… (It gets complicated haha.)

BACK2TOPIC:

1. Soldes

If you’re wondering if the city of Fashion- Paris has fashion sales? WELL. IT’S A YES! But It only happens in June-July and ends in August (Once a year). So, definitely do plan your trip well:) And, when the French say “Sales”, they truly lower the prices to make it affordable. Name any brand, and they’ll most likely have a Sale for it. (Zara, NafNaf, Kookai, Mango, H&M…etc.)

2. Sunday is the day of Rest

Don’t expect shops in Paris to be opened on this day. Some markets (local produces) will open for a few hours in the morning, but that’s about it – and some family-owned businesses (such as bakeries/boulanges) will be closed on Mondays as well.

3. SPEAK/LEARN FRENCH

Don’t be shy- speak French! No matter how badly you think your French is, the French people will gladly appreciate your efforts either way! You will better enjoy your trip this way!Americans think French people are rude because when they come to France, they impose the English language on them, therefore, they put the French in uncomfortable positions. DON’T BE LIKE AMERICANS.

4. Sante!

Cheering in France is no simple happening. There are specific rules to follow to cheer as per the French rules: you have to look every single person you cheers with in the eye, say Santé!” or “Tchin Tchin!

5. La Bise (kiss) [Obama's enjoying it with the ex- First Lady of France] :D

Don’t feel like it’s disgusting or anything.. It’s part of the culture! and it’s the lovely part! Everybody has to stand up to greet you with a kiss on both cheeks.

6. Don’t ask for Ice in a French Restaurant..

Usually, water is not served with ice cubes when you’re there. If you do ask…the waiters will probably know that you’re a tourist!

7. Pharmacies are highly respected and valued

In America, it’s GO TO CVS and get the drugs.

But in France, Pharmacists have great pay jobs, and their drug stores are well arranged and it feels so professional!

Yes, there are pharmacies on every block in Paris.

8. Customers are not King.

French don’t have such great customer service. Be careful, and pay attention to this part of French culture.

9. TAX IS INCLUDED ON THE PRICE YOU SEE! YAYY!

Example : Service is included in all restaurant bills. You can exceptionally leave a euro or two on the table if you received outstanding customer service, but that’s highly unlikely…

Example 2: Fashion clothes are included for this one! If the ticket says 20 Euros, you’ll be paying exactly 20 Euros! No TAX. cause it’s already there! AMAZING! :)

Cheers!

Odiletouslesjours:)


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