No, not that type of French kissing (Did you like the title? Bet you did, you dirty bastards) but a much more important French kiss called by the French ‘faire la bise’ (do the kiss).
This is when French people greet each other with two kisses – one on each cheek. It is still very much ingrained in the French culture, it’s kinda like the equivalent of the English-speakers hug and becomes so natural French people don’t even think about it. Or that they’re following a bunch of rules (which I picked up in France)
(Sequel to ‘You Know You’re Becoming French When…)
1. For pre-drinks you must must serve the drink with some nibbles – chips, cheese, nuts etc
2. You think it’s normal to eat dinner at 8pm
3. You get offended when a waitress addresses you with ‘tu’ and not ‘vous’
4. You start to write French words when you mean to write English words (eg: writing ‘creme’ instead of ‘cream’)
5. You become an expert at avoiding dog poo in the streets.
After living in France for two months I think I finally experienced true culture shock. Culture shock is thrown around a lot, similar to terms such as ‘writer’s block’ or ‘depression’ – most of us don’t really know what it means or what it’s like to experience them.
But this time I wanted to hit somebody and make them explain why they needed to do things the way they were doing it – and make them change it. I wanted them to justify why anyone would need to not do things how I do them in Australia.
And it was all because I wanted a piece of bloody pumpkin
It all started as a normal day where I went grocery shopping for my dinner – I had one of my favourite recipes planned – chicken and pumpkin casserole in a simmering sauce of white wine, balsamic vinegar and cream. YUM! All I need was one slice of pumpkin – and then I made the mistake of looking for it at 1pm.
The first stop I tried was my local Lidl (a generic brand supermarket similar to Aldi) but found they didn’t have any. No problem – I thought I could head to a fruit and vegetable store I had found in the city centre – but it was closed…. huh?
So here I am as an Aussie-Expat living in France and I’ve can’t help but compare the two countries, now that I’m a ‘travailleur temporaire’ (temporary worker) I do not have the gloss of being a tourist on holiday to destract me from what it is really like to live here and been thinking about the pros and cons of living in both France and Australia.
So here I present the ‘Frances versus Australia’ debate that I’ll be slowly adding to over my time here. I think this is as close as I’ll get to blogging, unless I get inspired 🙂
First let’s start with what France does better than Australia