The people of France are like no other.

Before this trip abroad, I heard many opinions regarding the Parisians, most of which included the idea that they are rude, and greatly dislike Americans. After being in this city for about a week now, the people have pleasantly surprised me in some instances, but also angered me in others. One rude action counteracts the next nice one, so it's hard to completely love or hate the French as a whole. I have to say, I have fallen in love with Paris, but sometimes it's hard to adapt when some people despise us instantly. However, they do live a different lifestyle and have a different culture, which is one of the main reasons they act so unalike from Americans.

To begin, they go about their days keeping to themselves. Their conversations between each other are quiet, and even the metro stations are kept at hushed tones, which only our loud American voices could, and do interrupt. Their beautiful language is difficult to understand, but since most of them can also speak English, ordering food and asking questions isn't usually hard to accomplish (except on some occasions).

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One day in the St. Michele area, I was completely disregarded as a human being- this is no exaggeration. It was pouring rain, and Amy and I had broken the first umbrella we used. In desperation, we bought the most tourist-looking umbrellas covered with little Eiffel Towers, and although it gave me protection, I quickly regretted the purchase. As Amy and I searched for the famous Muse DOrsay, we resorted to asking French people which direction it was in. Forgetting I practically had American tourist written on my forehead because of this ridiculous umbrella, I approached a man and attempted to speak the little French I knew. He maybe glanced at me, then continued walking at the quick Parisian pace disregarding my existence that was two feet in front of him. Completely shocked and utterly ignored on the side of the street, I walked away with Amy laughing and agreeing getting wet was worse than holding these umbrellas.

Aside from this, we have encountered both sweet and rude Parisians. A Parisian has yelled at Amy for pointing in her direction on the metro (strange, yet it happened). Another time, a lady guided Amy and I to our metro stop that was completely out of her way, and we appreciated the random act of kindness.

Also that day, we spoke to a friendly street worker who started a conversation with us, which was refreshing after we we're clearly unwanted as Americans at the famous macaron cafe, Laduree, the previous hour. And let me tell you, that was an experience. The server paid as little attention to us as possible, and greeted us with Bonjour! That's what us French say. After being treated like stupid Americans, we decided to return the favor by paying in all coins. (Pictures will be soon uploaded when the wifi is better).

However, aside from these few frustrations, the French are amazing people to observe. I've learned that although the city is quite fast paced, the French live by the word patience. (Amy and I we're specifically reprimanded for this by a bartender when we asked for the check, and he stated, Here in France patience is a virtue).

However, it is something to be admired.

At restaurants, they spend at least two hours dining and talking with their companions. Servers consider their customers guests, and after the food has been ordered and served, they don't come back to the table for at least a thirty-minute time period. Due to the fact that the servers wages are higher than American servers', tips are usually never more than one or two euros. Therefore, dining experiences can be quite the long process. However, I do respect how the French people dining enjoy each others company and conversation, spending hours long at restaurants and cafes.

The culture, although practically opposite of ours, is something to appreciate. Getting used to the Parisians is definitely a long course, but in some districts, such as Bastille, we did feel more accepted by the young and liberal residents. As I continue to stay in Paris the next few days, I look forward to learning more about the French before we depart for London. And I'm also hoping for more kindness from the people that Amy & I encounter- fingers crossed & wish us luck.

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Posted in Cleaning Services Post Date 09/25/2018






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