Tag Archives: american

Idleness is the holiday of fools – Fortune Cookie

Hello again. 🙂 I promise I’ll write about all my amazing adventures this summer, or at least explain about what I’ve done. However, I have a nice little reverse culture shock story that I wanted to share. Now that I’ve returned to the States to finish my college career, I imagine this blog will turn into reverse culture shock stories, coping stories, or fun facts about France/French stories. I’ll try not to turn it too much into a personal blog, because honestly, a blog without a theme is just no fun. Anyway, here goes.

Tonight I went out to dinner at a Chinese restaurant with my best friend and her family. Just to clarify, dinner was great, and I had a good time, this story’s about cultural differences, nothing else. Anyway.
As we were eating, we got talking and before I knew it they were starting to clear the table. As I had not yet finished eating, I grabbed what I could and figured I would finish eating as they cleared the table instead of holding people up. But, before I could finish my plate, the table was cleared, the bill was given, fortune cookies were out, and a wet towel was being shoved in my face, as I was still eating. I was shocked. I knew that America was different, I knew that speed is important, you never have to ask for the check because it is always given as soon as you finish, I knew all that. But I never remember it feeling so violent. Shouldn’t you wait for the last person to finish before clearing the table? Maybe put the wet towel politely next to her plate and let her chew? Have the French put my expectations that high? Maybe I’m still adjusting, all I know is my head hasn’t stopped spinning since I left the place and I’m still hungry….

Direct Matin

One of the great things about living in the city is the free newspapers. In almost every metro station you can find either the Metro, Direct Matin, 20 Minutes, or Nous (A Nous? I don’t read that one). While they’re not generally the best written articles, they are free and give you a good idea about what’s happening around the world and around Paris, as well as your handy dandy horoscope which always sounds better in French. The other day while in the metro, I happened to glance over my neighbors shoulder and see the cutest picture in Direct Matin. I was so frustrated because it was in the afternoon which meant Direct Soir was already out, and I wouldn’t be able to get the picture for myself. Turns out though, that Direct Matin puts all it’s papers online in PDF format, which will come in handy next year when I’m having Frenchie withdrawal.

Direct Matin 4 Mars

The cute picture turns out to be in Dusseldorf during carnival, the dragon is the policeman’s son. To the right of that is the “What happened today in history?” section, which talks about FDR’s New Deal. Surprisingly there are often little sections about American history or random culture that you wouldn’t expect to make it into a Parisian newspaper.

Dance like no ones watching

Written yesterday, posted today.

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No painting today! Whoohoo!

Instead I spent my day cleaning floors. Still not that exciting, but much better for my poor feet.

I’m still having trouble getting use to long lunches and breaks at work. The long lunches just make me want to take a nap, and the poses just leave me sitting around feeling awkward. But, I am learning about of work, well, works during the lunches. It really is there that everything is discussed. And the breaks may feel weird, but my head and back thank me later, and I found out that I love Earl Grey tea.

After dinner tonight, there was a pot d’acceuil at the foyer. Pot d’acceuils are basically pot lucks/hor d’oeuvres with a random theme as an excuse to meet the new people at the foyer. Today was special because there was a DJ and everybody was suppose to come in “traditional garb” from their country. I wore my Gap pants and sneakers, gotta represent! As soon as we got there, my American friends and I started dancing. We were having tons of fun, but realized that nobody else would dance unless forced and that everybody was looking at us. I don’t really care if people watch because I know I dance like a crazy person and I don’t care, but it just showed another cultural difference. Americans are so much more open, if we wanna dance, we dance, no worries about how we look, we dance to have a good time. Eventually other people started dancing, but it took some time, some good songs, and the fact that we really never stopped dancing.

During the party, one of my friends was taking pictures of people, which turned out to be part of a “women’s day” project or something like that. Basically they take a picture of a women and an object that she considers important. So, I went up to my room to find something important, something that I liked and that represented me. I thought of the blow up Minion my brother sent me, pictures of my family, peanut butter, a bag I made, a pillow case I’ve had since I was a kid, but none of those seemed to work. Then I realized the one thing I refuse to travel without, duct tape. My purple duct tape, which I always make sure to have a supply of since I started college. Incredibly useful and fun colored, I can’t imagine going without it. And it’s purple, the best color in the world. And weirdly enough I have a lot of memories with it, setting up my dorm room, fixing my friends glasses, making purple duct tape stars. So, when it comes down to it, purple duct tape is the most important item I brought to France. Thank you Walmart. My friend took some pretty awesome pictures, so hopefully I’ll have them on facebook for family and friends to see.

Which reminds me, WordPress allows its users to track how readers are finding the blog and how many people read each day. I’ve never had that many, just family and friends, and then recently I’ve been getting a bunch of spam. Which annoyed the hell out of me. However, that spam must have done the trick because when you google “Bonjour Escargot” I’m now at the bottom of the first page, out of like ten pages or something, big stuff lol. So, to any new google readers, first off it’s amazing that you googled bonjour escargot, you sound like an awesome person. Also, I’m use to having people I know read the blog, so if you actually start reading let me know and I’ll be sure to explain things more thoroughly instead of just saying “Well, mom, you know what I mean!”

Well, it’s officially Friday here and I have a big day coming up: stage, diner, homework, salsa dancing. 🙂
Bonne nuit tout le monde, have a great Friday!