Least French Moments


How to Not Feel Like You Are in France

I moved to France thinking I would get to experience French culture 24/7. I thought I would constantly be surrounded by this culture that I would be so far away from American culture. I mean the French are so proud of their culture, they go to great lengths to protect it. But sometimes I cannot help but laugh at all the non-French things happening around me. Here are my top ten least French moments:

10. English, English everywhere: I swear when I open the windows to my apartment I hear more English than French. Maybe it's the area that I live in, or maybe its because English speaking expats are taking over. But I never thought I would hear so much English!

9. McDonalds: they're everywhere in France and they always seem to be busy. It's not going out of business in France anytime soon. So why do they keep coming back since it is everything opposite of French culture? It's not locally grown, it has big portions, and it's not a small business. I really don't get it.

8. English words: the French language is a beautiful language until you hear a few English words thrown into the sentence. I heard someone say that they did some "running." What? There are French words for that! Oh and the most confusing is that they call a bus a bus, but they call a charter bus a car. The kids keep correcting me when I call those busses cars and when I call a car a car. You do realize those words are English, right? And that I do know a little more French than you think?

7. A Mustang: when you think of renting a car in France, you expect the smallest car known to man. That's the stereotype, right? Well in Normandy, I've seen this one Ford Mustang repeatedly and it looks huge compared to the other cars. And of course people make a big deal about it because it's not French and it's the car that always seems to be in the movies. I think French teenage boys are more obsessed with the Mustang that American boys. And that's saying something.

Jardin des Tuileries
6. Les Miserables in the sewer: Les Miserables is a French classic. And while it is acceptable to act out the book on the big screen, the French are not thrilled with the musical. So someone signing songs from the musical in the sewers was funny at first, its definitely not something the French would be proud of.

5. Rap: Ok French rap may seem funny to Americans, but they don't rap about the same stuff that Americans rap about, and I'd much rather listen to that. But on the radio, sometimes you'll hear the worst American rap songs. You know, the rap where they talk about their love for women's body parts with a lot of vulgarity. That happens on the radio so much and it so weird to listen to, it is so not French, it's just yuck!

4. "American" Sauce: what is American Sauce? I made cheeseburgers for the kids the other night and the mother bought American Sauce to put on the burgers. I have no clue what they think it is but it tastes like ketchup and mayonnaise had a baby coated in basil. It's so nasty, but what makes it American? Surely the French wouldn't normally serve this with their food.

3. Banjo: if you ride the metro enough you'll see people playing music for money. Most of the time its the accordion, the go to French instrument. Sometimes the guitar, violin, or trumpet. But one time I heard a banjo. But the guy didn't even walk around asking for money. He just jumped in, started playing, and took a flying jump out, clicked his boots in the air, and yelled "yahoo!" What just happened?

2. Sweet Home Alabama: one night I went to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle. And while I was surrounded by the beauty of the Eiffel Tower (very Parisian) and French couples toasting to something (also Parisian), I could hear some faint music playing in the background. What was that music you may ask? Sweet Home Alabama. And it was being played very poorly I might add. Yeah that French accent doesn't really capture the southern twang.

1. Captain America: I've never felt safer in the metro thanks to Captain America showing up. It was at 5:30am on a Saturday morning and this man was running around in full leotard and shield. He was telling everyone to have a safe day in English with a very thick French accent. He also greeted everyone at the doors. Thanks Cap!

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