I don’t understand why French people have such a bad reputation for being rude. I’ve always found them just like everyone else in the world, some are friendly and others… well you’ll probably never get along with! I think the French, especially those who don’t live in big cities, are very welcoming to people who make a tiny effort to speak French.
They don’t appear annoyed if you can’t understand them or are struggling with French and will gladly bail you out when they see you’re struggling. Over my time in France I met some very important people who will be friends for life. From my host mum, my French colleagues and French friends who always helped me with my French and got me through the hard times. It’s a shame we’re now very far away from each other!
Europe has to be one of the easiest continents to travel around. Mainland Europe has a network of affordable and reliable trains, buses and developed roads. The Schengen Zone makes it easy to cross borders with minimal disruption and the range of budget airlines make it cheap to regularly travel. I loved how easy it was to get to so many different countries in a very short amount of time, from Finland and Sweden to the UK or Greece. All of these countries are so different, yet so close to each other.
In some ways I’m glad I don’t live in France anymore, because I’m sure I would be very, very fat by now if I did! 🙂 I love French food, even though it can be quite sweet and heavy – it’s sweet and heavy in a good way! 🙂
Even food that most foreigners think of as just ‘French food’ is usually a region’s specialty. Such as crepes are not just ‘French’ they are ‘Breton’ (i.e. from Brittany). Whilst cider can be bought anywhere in France, but is particularly famous in Normandy. So whenever you go to Normandy, you have to drink cider!
Then there are a bunch of dishes in different towns and regions which a lot of foreigners, and even some French people have never heard of. Such as in the French town that I lived in (Dunkerque), there was a special ‘Dunkerqoise’ chocolate, the ‘doigts de Jean-Bart’ (Jean-Bart fingers).
It was a light coffee cream encased in a wafer and then covered in milk chocolate – heaven!
What I love about France, and what I feel makes it so unique to other countries in the world, is that every region is unique. For a country which by my standards is considerably ‘small’ each region is so different. From the Alps, to Paris, Brittany and the South – they are all so unique in their nature, food, attractions and yet are all so beautiful and special. You never know when you are going to discover a new tradition or food – you could spend a lifetime trying to see it all.
Ah la France – tu me manque ! 🙂