7 Things you should do when you are in France

This is a guest post written by Maria Fidelia

FRANCE. What will you think when I say France? I thought you would think about, beret, baguette, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, or even wine (or you might think French are stinky, would you? ). Well, those are the stereotype of France, we know that already, but you know, when you visit France, meet French, or going to say in France, you better read this.

1. Faire Bisous

Oh la la, YESSSSSS!!!! French like to kiss, not the mouth to mouth kiss, but the cheek to cheek kiss. Everybody would do it everyday, every hour, and every time they meet people they know. As my experience says, men tend to kiss with the one they are close to or they know. When I was in France, I have some boy friends in class and every morning they meet each other sometimes they only shake hand to each other since they are not close, but 2 boy friends in class, they always kiss when they meet. After quite some times I put on my stalking ability (well, not to do the bad thing), I know that the 2 boy friends in my class are close friends, best friends we could say. Also, there is one thing that I remarked since I arrived there, women tend to do it more, both with men or with the other women! The amount of the kiss is depend on their habit; some people would do it 3 times to family and do it only 2 times with friends.


2. Having ‘Goûter’ at 3:30 PM

Goûter is something like high tea in England, but the different is you can take everything to eat and drink, n ot only tea to drink, but you can also drink orang juice or simply a glass of water, with crackers as something to eat. Eventhough you don’t have any crackers on the shelf, you can also take chocolate to eat or yogurt or everything to eat but not too heavy. Remember, NOT TOO HEAVY! Sometimes, when you are still in the office or school, you might also take a small packet of crackers and eat it in the time of goûter or when you are on the road going home or somewhere else, you might also stop by at any boulangerie at buy a pain au chocolat, it’s only 0.60-0.95 Euro. One thing to remember, when you want to goûter, take a look at the time, because when you want to goûter after 4.30 PM, you simply cannot do it, because it is too late. French think that it’s near to the time to have dinner.

3. Greet the bus driver, cashier and everyone who serves you 

I found out this habit runs in French blood, almost everyone do this when they meet the bus driver as they enter the bus; the cashier when they finish shopping, and any other examples. I found this habit is very good. Sometimes, you might see them not really friendly to you or they greet you without sincerity, but at least they greet everyone.


4. Taking something when you are invited

This is quite a habit. French always do this when they are invited to their friend’s house to have a dinner, even when they are told that they don’t have to carry anything with them. I saw that they bring, champagne, wine, cheese, or just flowers to put on the table.


5. Pick up fresh bread (aka baguette) every day

Pick up fresh is a big big habit of French. I guess that they cannot live without bread (No, I’m joking!), since they spend almost a baguette everyday, ONE BAGUETTE EVERYDAY. When you have sauce or gravy left on your plate, French will finish it with baguette. Tear a little of the bread, then lick the sauce or the gravy on the plate with the bread and eat it! One thing they also do with the baguette; as they walk back to their house, they will tear the tip of the warm baguette and eat it 😉


6. Being addicted to crêpes (and nutella)

Oh my God, I don’t if this is true, but everyone in France (my friends there) love crêpes. Crêpes comes with 2 different types, the salty one which we eat with jambon blanc, cheese, or egg; and the sweet one which we eat with jam, refined sugar, or … NUTELLA. Once, I went out with my host brother and he loves crêpes with nutella so much. I found out, too that French are quietly addicted to it, but who doesn’t love Nutella, right?

(Ps : I love crêpes so much!!!!)

7. Talk or joke about sex at the dining table? Normale, quoi? 

Well, this habit is quite something. Since I grew in Indonesia and we don’t talk much about sex, even with our parents and on the dining table especially. After some times living in France, I started to understand French and one day, on an Easter lunch, the big family of my host dad visited my host family and certainly, the joke around about sex and well, I couldn’t help but smiling than laughing. Another experience, my other host parents took me visit their friends house and we had dinner there. As we know, they joke around about sex and of them ask my host mom, “Does she understand about the joke?” because apparently he caught me smiling about his joke and then my host mom said, “Ah oui, oui bien sûr! (Yes, certainly) Because she understand already about all French jokes and else.”


20150808_194540This guest post was written by Maria Fidelia, an Indonesian girl who spend time abroad in France. 

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