Living in France will do funny things to your brain. Whilst we may daydream about the ways the foreign locals will lap up the niche nationalistic traits that we were born with, the reality of living in France is somewhat different. The things that we consider the grounding stones of our very being will start to erode away and leave behind something a little, well, odd. Becoming an expat in France is like joining a niche set of the Illuminati and unless you’re aware of these huge, life altering changes that will behold you when you move, you might consider not going at all. Read on and go ahead with caution, traveler.
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Bread Will Never Be the Same
Okay, so we all know the French have some of the best bread, but one thing we don’t think about is how we will cope when we come back home to visit. Waking up in the morning without the purpose of buying a fresh baguette will do weird things to your head and pretty soon, it will be all but impossible to go on. Don’t underestimate the hold that fresh, crackly bread will have on your ability to function in the world.
Queues Will Become A Thing Of The Past
You know that thing that people do when they are waiting for, say, a bus, or a barista’s service? Yeah, don’t do that in France. Queueing is for the meek and the weak minded. Whilst it might take a few uncomfortable experiences to get into the habit, you will soon be not-queuing like a pro.
Mooing Is A Form Of Communication
At home, words and fully formed sentences are a great and sure fire way of getting people to understand what you want. In France, you can forgo all of this in favor of the well-timed “uhhhhh” or “ehhhhh”. Don’t speak French? Don’t worry! we have heard some conversations founded entirely on the subtle shifts in these guttural noises. Now get mooing, you don’t want people to think that you’re rude.
Breakfast Is A Black Coffee
Black, no sugar. You will soon learn that milk is for the uncultured and you certainly are not one of them, are you?
If You Have To Eat, Croissants Are The Only Way
Okay, okay, so you might be feeling a little faint despite having inhaled the fumes of a good black coffee at breakfast time. If things become dark and spotty, administer a good serving of buttery croissant, stat. Jam is optional.
Dinners That Last Less Than 3 Hours Are Only Snacks
The French may be somewhat lax in their attitude to breakfast but where dinner fares, they go all out. Expect to be sitting in the same place for 5 hours or more. Don’t expect to be able to undo your trousers ever again.
Navy Is Neon
Anything brighter than a rich shade of navy is considered garish. Tone off-blacks with ebony-blacks, adding a subtle hint of midnight navy to complete the look. Never wear white in winter.
Never Expect To Work In August
August is a time in which Parisians flee the city for the comfort of the South. Who wants the sticky city when things truly heat up? Don’t expect to get anything done throughout the entire month, or to have to do anything for anyone else, either.
Wave Bye Bye To Your Filter
The power to filter your thoughts and determine what is and isn’t appropriate for public airing is a skill that never evolved in the French. Whilst early experiences of this can be awkward and alarming, it will soon become refreshing to let everyone know exactly what you are feeling all the time. Make sure you learn the ability to switch this on and off, however. Things can get tricky outside of French borders.