Monday, 13 July 2009

France and Me : 12 years

In honor of my 12 years spent in France, a list of things I've learned:

  1. If you run off to France just after college, don't expect to ever see your then boyfriend again.
  2. Don't trust a Frenchman who brings you to McDonald's as a first date.
  3. Everything is impossible - but insist anyway if you want mustard on your sandwich instead of mayo.
  4. Rules apply to only a chosen few - espeically no smoking rules which never apply in train stations or airports.
  5. Lines do not exist.
  6. Customer service doesn't exist. If you have a problem, never ask for the manager because there isn't one. Writing letters is the only way to solve a problem but don't expect an answer.
  7. You need time to deal with anything in France. "Quick" errands do not exist.
  8. Sidewalk dog crapping is a national passtime.
  9. it is impossible to use up all your vacation days plus RTT -recoup days - but you cannot live without them either.
  10. Socialized healthcare in France is amazing.
  11. If you manage to live in France as an expat for over 10 years, you deserve a bottle of champagne and a tray of good quality sushi upon the birth of your second child (oh wait, I don't think that really belongs here...)


Marianne said...

Ohmygod all of this is so true. It makes me feel good (the fact that I've learned all this) and bad (the factthat all of this is so ture) at the same time.

Did you have your baby? If not and you need a doula, I live in the North of France as well, and would be more than happy to help!!

Anonymous said...


the funny thing is that if people had tried to tell me all this when i first moved to france (the north too!) i wouldn't have believed them and i should have done. it would have saved me a lot of stress fighting against all that.

Nicole said...

I just posted something this afternoon about being here for 12 years too. Great minds...

Reb said...

Nicole, great minds or great struggles...?

Marianne, Emmy, half of the battle is knowing.

Beth said...

I've only lived in France for six years, but that's long enough to find out that it's all true- every bit of it.

PS- what about that baby?!

Reb said...

baby boy is due in a month-2 but hoping he comes a little early.

Owen said...

Been here 17 years, we had our second kid a while back... will you be bringing the sushi and champagne ?!? Sounds like a great idea... :-D Ahh, those sidewalk dogs, what would the country be without them ?

Crystal said...

I have to agree with Emmy...if I had known all this stuff about France before coming 4 years ago, maybe I would have changed my mind! I spent 3 years in the north (near Lille) and am now in the parisian suburbs but miss the North like crazy! Guess having a Ch'ti husband will do that to you :)

Reb said...

People still ask me, with that look of disbelief, 'you're from New York? So what are you doing here???!!!". I wonder if they ever stop asking that 'cause it's kind of annoying.

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