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Thursday, August 17, 2006

reverse culture shock

There are certain things about being home that I’m still trying to get over after living in Paris.

1. People wear sweatpants, old t-shirts, dirty gym shoes and fleeces out. Downtown. All the time.
2. Guys mostly hit on girls with their eyes, and when they actually get the nerve to say anything girls act either shocked or appalled.
3. There is no smoking in restaurants, bars or clubs. When taking a rare cigarette break outside a bar (I smoke only when drinking), a man approached me and said: “Those pants are great, you’d be really sexy if you didn’t smoke.” Well, he wouldn’t be sexy either way, so I wasn’t too bothered.
4. The streets seem deserted after 10 o’clock. Even downtown, people gather outside the clubs and the majority of the streets look empty.
5. Flirting in English is awkward.
6. People will eat muffins and donuts, but croissants and desserts are treated like sins.
7. You can eat anywhere, at anytime.
8. People eat dinner early. Restaurants are full at apero time, when all I want is a Pastis and some peanuts.
9. Coffee is big, almost too big, which leads me to getting overexcited and caffeinated.
10. People are so laid back that I find it hard to relax.

so blue

I'll get over it, I'm still just a little overwhelmed with being here.


Anonymous Nico said...

Sounds familiar. Even though it wasn't 'reverse' culture shock to me. I get that whenever I go home ;)

Don't worry, it'll wear off. Enjoy it while it lasts. You can feel so 'different' ;-)

6:35 AM  
Blogger Mirella said...

I feel that way too, when I go to Brazil. Take it easy.
Have a nice WE

2:34 PM  
Anonymous T said...

haaha That's a fun list. Can you explain #7 more?

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Joy said...

Well, this side of the world is is so majorily different from the world you just left. It is why I desire Paris specifically and Europe in general.

I am happy that you have had a safe trip back.

5:10 PM  
Blogger ayah young said...

#7 is a big one for me. In France you eat breakfast, lunch, a snack at 4 p.m, and aperitifs and dinner. All of these are done sitting down at pretty specific times, and you rarely see anyone eating in the streets. Here people eat when they want, out in the streets, and seem to snack all the time rather than eat formal meals. It's not uncommon to see someone eating a sandwhich or a muffin before or after lunch time.

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Gillian said...

That comment was actually by me- logged in as my cousin!

8:57 AM  
Blogger CaroCiCaroCa said...

Hey - I just wanted to drop a line ... I love your blog and I think you're an eloquent writer. I hope you would say your experience in France was positive. I added you to my links !


8:17 PM  
Anonymous gwen from Paris said...

It is exactly what I tell my friends when I come back from an english-speaking country about people and their "strange customs"! It is, I think, a question of Point of view......

11:01 AM  

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