Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Things you'll notice - Part 1 (25-06-2014)

Another quick post of some simple observations of things that are a little different in France than in the United States (at least in Iowa)

  1. It is not unusual to see two heterosexual women walking hand-in-hand or arm-in-arm.
  2. Younger people will offer their seat on the metro or tram to an older person, a mother with a baby, or anyone who obviously could use the seat. 
  3. Men here very often carry a 'man purse'. 
  4. Men wear capris.
  5. People love to bike for exercise and wear full racing-type gear - but not always a helmet.
  6. Lots of people also inline skate for exercise.
  7. Almost every home has lots of flowers and plants outside.
  8. Lunch is a 1-2 hour event.
  9. A tiny cup of coffee (cafe) can take an hour or more to drink, especially if you have a friend with you.
  10. Having a dryer in your home is very unusual. Clothes are hung outside when weather permits. As you drive by the thousands of apartments you will see the clothes hanging on and over the apartment balconies.
  11. Almost everyone drives a manual transmission car.
  12. Very few homes have air conditioning.
  13. Bread goes bad after one day. Either freeze part of your bread or make daily trips to the boulangerie.
  14. There are a LOT of pizza restaurants. MANY of the pizza choices on the menu include eggs.
  15. People don't drink to get drunk (obvious exceptions). Wine is to be enjoyed with the meal. Friends young and old are more likely to visit over coffee than drinks but a cold beer is welcome too.
  16. There is no music, art or sports in the public schools here. School is strictly for education. 
  17. When you take a cart of groceries or other items to the checkout counter the clerk will wait for you to unload your entire cart before they start ringing your items. You can have a hundred items and unless you run out of room nothing will be checked through until you are done.
  18. People are used to waiting in line. When you go to a store for a service (for example to buy a cell phone), you enter the store and wait to be greeted by a clerk. If they are all busy you keep waiting until an employee is free.
  19. It is unusual to hear someone talk very loudly in public. If you are shopping in a boutique it is best to use a low conversational voice if you are with friends.
  20. Women dress up much more often. Dresses and nice shoes are everywhere.
  21. Windows don't have screens. There are bugs and they do come into the house. Not nearly as many as I would expect in my home in the U.S. but enough that I'm not sure WHY they don't have screens.
  22. Dogs are welcome almost anywhere including many restaurants. It is not super common but we have seen dogs inside at a restaurant, in the malls and more often at outdoor cafes.
  23. Gas is sold by the liter not the gallon. Gas can range from 1.40 Euros to $1.52 Euros per liter, or about $7.00 per gallon.
  24. Not surprisingly cars are small and efficient.
  25. In Toulouse Rugby is more popular that Soccer (Football). Except during the World Cup.
  26. LOTS of people smoke, especially younger people. Electric cigarettes are everywhere. I don't know the statistics but it seems to me that more people smoke in France.
  27. Most small shops close over the lunch hour (or two hours). Malls, restaurants and most shops downtown Toulouse remain open. But I've driven to my local vet and boulangerie on two occasions over 'the noon hour', only to get there and remember that things are closed from as long as 12 - 2:00.
  28. Almost all shops and malls are closed on Sundays. 
I'll have more observational posts in the future. If you have questions or comments I would love to hear them.

1 comment:

Heroina13 said...

Like you are talking about living in Croatia :))))