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Teaching English and Art together, putting on the GospelCafé concerts, prayer, meeting with our new French friends. It's a good life!

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Some Rules of the French

1. As a woman, don't look a man in the eyes if you do not know him . He thinks you are coming on to him. Unless, of course, he is taking your order for food and he's all smiles and ready to please. I like that.
2. The French are more formal. You should be introduced before talking to someone. (Although I have been approached by 5 people at least, for directions. Maybe they are not French but they are speaking French. I point to the board for them to find their way or tell them I don't know much French.) Even if you speak a little French they think you know a lot and keep going on. I just smile and try to glean what I can.
3. If you smile at someone they know you are an American, unless you are a teen or college student with a group of friends coming on the train. Some people sneak glances, and once in a while, someone will smile at you, be kind and offer you a seat. The trains are relatively silent, people looking everywhere but at each other. That is so sad to me. I've had a man offer me a seat two times and an older woman offer me a seat on the train. She was closer to the seat though and it didn't make sense - but she was being kind. Some of these trains are jam packed. Friday is a big day where everyone is ready to party, though. They come alive.
4. The elderly who are out walking with their groceries and their little carts will not take your help. They are independent!
5. The bus drivers like to take off right after you get on the bus. Only one driver was a great driver, but I've never seen him again. One woman driver was so crazy that an older woman fell down! Many eyebrows raised for that one and mean looks at the bus driver.
6. Try to say Madame or Mademoiselle or Monsieur after saying Bonjour. "Bonjour, Mademoiselle". It's a little more formal and you say it that way if you don't know them very well—like a cashier.
7. "Tout de suite, Madame", said the cashier when my cart du credite didn't work in the machine - meaning go to la banque to get some cash - "in a hurry". They say it so fas the "de" gets lost altogether. Of course, when I returned, my groceries were gone. Then I spent another 15 min. 
searching, trying to find the customer service area - or "distributor". Finally someone found the red faced Carol, and brought them to her.
8. At the grocery store they have the grocery carts in the parking lot where you put a Euro into it to unlock it. (like Aldi stores) A woman comes up to bring her cart back and I held out my euro to her to see if she wanted that to save time and I would take her cart. Oh, noooo, she must put her own euro back in to return her cart. She told me twice - whatever she said.
9. Fresh baked baguette in the morning. Nothing like it. You go to a Boulangerie - a bread store, or in my case someone at the school brings it in for a Petite Dejeuner (Breakfast). I'm spoiled........................Carol

1 comment:

  1. Croissants au beurre! As good as une tartine!