As we all know, things are rarely what they look like in the movies or in romanticized novels. We learn so much more about the world around us when we experience things first hand. Here are some everyday things that surprised me about Paris when I first arrived. These aren’t necessarily culture shocks, just things that stood out to me in my initial observations.
Whether you are making a permanent move abroad or just living abroad temporarily as an expat, it’s important to remember that life abroad, like life anywhere, has its ups and downs. Here’s a list of some of the biggest challenges you may face and how to overcome them.
As an American grocery shopping in France, there were definitely some things that initially surprised me. Here’s what you can expect at the grocery store in France as well as a few handy tips to make your experience better.
Do I talk about food a lot? And if yes, do you have a problem with that? No? Good!
Here are some French food habits I’ve picked up over the years. As always with my cultural comparison pieces, I write from my own experience and from a place of love. Enjoy!
I think we can all agree—relationships are complicated. There are a lot of possible points of contention that could either bring you closer together or drive you apart. When you’re in a relationship with someone outside of your own culture, the divide between these topics can be augmented as a result of our unique cultural lenses.
Ah, the French. Famously portrayed as the most romantic of all the cultures. Who doesn’t want to be wooed in Paris, with a view of the Eiffel Tower, and isn’t that how it always happens? Well, I’ve been dating my Frenchman for a few years now, and we recently got married, so I’m about to give you the real scoop. Am I promoting clichés? Maybe. But it’s all in the name of fun.
Naturally, I try to expose Jonathan to the great American culture whenever possible, which usually means presenting him with various preservative-filled and artificially colored food items. My main goal is generally to gross him out and/or shock him, but this seldom works.
When travelling, I think you should do your best to try new things and embrace the culture that surrounds you. However, now that I’m trying to make France my home, I have a slightly different view when going to the grocery store. I have yet to truly explore specialty stores, like co-ops and ethnic markets, but here are a few things that I have to get used to when shopping at the typical grocery store in Paris.
Happy hour may have originated in America, but France offers some fierce competition. Who does it better? Let’s compare the essential components.