FRENCH CULTURE SHOCK || Expat in France

FRENCH CULTURE SHOCK || Expat in France


Salut Youtube! I’m back again for
another video in my culture shock series because I love doing them, you seem to like them and I really love talking about what life is actually like for a
New Zealander living in France these kinds of things are just the little
things that make you want to say hey have you noticed that or is it just me? So
if you love talking about cultural differences between people like I do
stick around we’re about to get into it Okay so the first topic I want to talk
about is gonna be a little bit sensitive I know for French people because French
people love their comic books but I noticed something a little bit
interesting about the comic books and I just feel like I need to get off my
chest. For me comic books are something from childhood we had Asterix and
Tintin and Batman of course the us kind of Avengers style comic books and stuff
but it was something aimed at maybe you know kids too young teenagers and here
is definitely you know accepted as an adult to absolutely love comic books and
to collect comic books and because there’s a wide range of adult comic
books and of course you can get really dirty adult comic books like adult adult
comic books but then you’ve just got your standard adult comic book where
there’s lots of stories of adventure real life and the you know you get into characters you know just like you would with a novel or a film and just
like in novels and films you know a part of life is that characters have sex
and I just can’t get my head around that when I see it as part of a standard
storyline in a normal adult comic book we’re just in the store and then
suddenly this character that I’m really getting into like a strong lead female
character she’ll be having sex with her lover and I see this little cartoon
character enjoying it and having a good time
I can’t compute I’m kind of like I bug I’m like but because there’s the the
childhood association of cartoons and comic books for me and then this and it
makes me feel like really prudish because I feel like oh that’s naughty to
see that like no is anyone gonna see me looking at this thing I’m so perverted
but it’s just so normal it’s just just like as part of novels and in most
films it’s just a story get over it like this is just such a standard thing and
so yeah I just want to talk about that that’s kind of funny maybe a culture
shock that you may experience living in France. The next thing I want to cover is
an object that I didn’t realize existed can anyone tell me what the hell is this?
I encountered this for the first time in my boyfriend’s father’s home in Avignon
in the South of France and I saw it in his bathroom and I was like what is that
device this device apparently is called a bidet and it’s there to squirt water
into your parts. Um why do you need that? I’ve never felt the need to apply pressured
water to that area you know showers baths they often
suffice. My auntie actually made a joke that is you know based on the French
cliche that French men all have mistresses and they go and visit their
mistresses during the long lunch break that it’s to freshen up after such an
encounter midday I don’t think that that’s true, I don’t know. French
people, help me understand in the comment section please. The next
point I want to touch on is the insane amount of yogurt that you will eat in
this country I think because in France you like a lot of countries you have a
breakfast lunch and dinner but what’s kind of surprising about the
lunch is that it’s just as big if not bigger than the dinner and almost an
obligatory part of that is a dessert you eat that at lunchtime which I never used
to do before and I do now and I have to admit it’s a real pleasure. But you
know so that you’re not eating creme brulee or mousse au
chocolat you know every single day at lunch and dinner this kind of thing they
often just like to seal off the meal with something sweet and often that’s a
yogurt or some fruit but it’s really like tripled my consumption of yogurt
because I don’t often you know used to eat yogurt breakfast time but now I eat
a yogurt to end lunch and dinner like you have a yogurt often after dinner
here as well so you may be eating I don’t know like let’s say an average of
two yogurts per day seven days a week 14 yogurts per week! And the way they eat the yogurt is pretty strange as well they take plain yogurt natural yogurt
and then they manually add like white sugar to it so they’ll pour the sugar
into the yogurt and mix it up and then eat it and I don’t really get it because
we have sweetened yogurt already pre sweetened and it’s nice and smooth
whereas when you like mix and sugar into a yogurt it becomes like textured and
kind of grainy and yeah that’s just the way they like to eat their yogurt and
they eat a lot of it. Another point that I wanted to kind of touch on is that in
the workplace you kind of sometimes have to court people to do their jobs you
have to almost convince them that you’re a likeable person that you get on well
that there’s a kind of relationship there in order for them to do sometimes
their job for you. A concrete example is in one of my companies here I had an HR
who just would never email me back I would email her I have questions and she
would never ever get back to me and then I bumped into her at a kind of workplace
event and we got chatting and we decided to take a lunch together and we had a
lunch together and it went really well and since then I have never ever had a
problem with her, she emails me back in like 15 minutes. For us you
know if you receive an email well you’ve got to reply to their email that’s
that’s part of your work contract like you’ve got to do a job that’s part of
doing your job is replying to your emails whereas here it’s like I don’t
know this person. It can also help to put a more senior person in copy of the
emails if you need a reply from someone but you haven’t had the chance to meet
them in person yet that’s another hack for getting people to reply to you.
Another thing that you’d notice if you move to France is that it’s okay to say
that you’re not okay or something’s not okay
so if someone asks you like how are you it’s okay to be like yeah
not great pretty tired you know and speaking of tired people talk about how
tired they are a lot here I’ve never heard this phrase so often like it’s
je suis fatigué – it’s really like people talk about how tired they are
a lot I think when you’re learning French for the first time you should
learn like Bonjour merci au revoir Bonne journée, je suis fatigué because
honestly you use it a lot but anyway my point is is it is okay to say that
you’re not okay you know where I’m from you’re like how are you yeah good good
and that’s, full-stop, that’s how far it goes whereas here you can be
like you can complain you know you can you can let it out a little bit you can
let off the steam you can be like oh I had a terrible morning with the kids or
whatever it may be and it’s it’s a release it’s a form of release and I
mean it’s okay to not be okay and that’s yeah more human we’re not okay
the time and that’s okay we can talk about that here in France. Something I’ve
noticed in France as well as just there’s something weird around table
placement normally like for me when you go out with a bunch of friends I mean
and there’s 12 of you arriving I mean you just take the seat and you sit down
and that’s fine nothing you know nothing matters like if you’ll be in front of
someone maybe you don’t know them so well but that’s fine you’ll chat and
you’ll get to know each other here I’ve noticed when you’re in a group sitting
and you’re going for a sit-down meal there’s a thing where you do almost like
this dance of like okay so this person will sit here and that person will sit
here and you take the time to like think about it and talk about who’s gonna sit
where and why and like “oh they’ll get on better” and they’ll do this and
it’s like can’t everyone just get on equally? I mean we can mix it
up like it doesn’t always have to be the best friends sitting together and the
boyfriend sitting together or like whatever it is. We just sit
wherever we sit like we don’t take the time really to like think about it
whereas here there’s a moment of like okay what’s gonna work the best with the
best dynamic and kind of like overthink the table seating thing I think you know
just the other day I had a kind of business meeting with people that we
didn’t know them we were a team in kind of a staff restaurant with them and the
most senior person was yet to arrive and we had this moment like oh wish if she
searched she should she be at the head of the table if she sits there she’ll be
opposite this person and that and I’m like honestly. Okay the last thing I want
to talk about is kind of very specific to my field of work and it’s because as
part of my job I run trainings but I also noticed this when I was a student
as well that when French people are are in classroom kind of sittings whether
that’s in school or in trainings there’s a lot of this chat-chat down the back
of the room or yeah like whispering or just not really being there and I
noticed because I mean we run international trainings so we have
people coming from all around the world to the same training and it’s always the
French participants chatting between themselves, it’s always them and I don’t know it’s like maybe you guys aren’t disciplined about it at school or
it’s your way of kind of like rebelling from a very strict rule based structure
such as school or a training environment I don’t know what it is but I have noticed that. Cool guys so that’s another video done and dusted unfortunately I
wish I could keep chatting about these things for ages I love talking about
cultural differences this is the reason I started my youtube channel but until
the next Video Wednesday because yes I release videos every single Wednesday
for those of you who aren’t subscribed yet please subscribe if you want to see
those come out but I’ll see you guys next Wednesday
A bientôt!

35 thoughts on “FRENCH CULTURE SHOCK || Expat in France

  1. Your always so funny and yet educational. You always make me laugh. No, I also did not know about the comic books, how funny. Keep up the great videos.

  2. Un yaourt ou fromage blanc contient des protéines dont du calcium .certains prennent des crèmes desserts comme style des viennois ect

  3. Loves hearing about the cultural differences! I am American and have often wondered about what it's really like to live in France. Thanks for your videos!

  4. @notevenfrench
    And everyone else :

    There are a few things to understand when talking about comic books.

    Firstly, comic books should be renamed, narrative still images.

    It's been around since the prehistorical era, up to stained glass in churches, to Bayeux Tapestry
    to Colonne Vendôme, to Andy Warhole.

    It's a concept , narration with stil images.
    and the form it takes can be murals, tapestry, stained glass, a colonne, or a book or any format and material and tools.

    It just so happens that since Gutenberg, people started to put drawn images in newspaper, often caricature,
    meant to be funny, then stripes of 2,3,4 images meant to be funny, and it was the beginning of modern day "comic book"
    which took its roots in the false idea that its meant to be funny and stupid, or for kids and dumb people and couldn't be seen as a work of art, as its been done for millenials prior to that.

    Worse it had to stick to one format now.. a book.
    And even though it regain mature content.

    Contemporary artists that uses still narratives images, won't say that it's basically a comic books
    and the contemporary scene of comic books won't even try to free themselves from the book format.

    But we're getting there.

    I'm saying all that, as a contemporary artist and a comic book artist, having studied art history
    and comic book history.

    Hope it helped

  5. getting pissed about the last comment. i've been living in the usa for two years and ive noticed SO many people talking when someone was speaking – pre shift, COURT HOUSE – and more.. And as the only french person i'd be so annoyed by their lack of respect and their impoliteness. So no. I don't agree with the last point and ive noticed it so many times that ive come to ask myself "am i annoyed by their loud chatting during a meeting because i'm french and this is rude to us?!"

  6. Les bidets sont très utiles aujourd'hui pour faire des bains de pieds au yaourt nature. Une alternative économique aux bains de champagne.

  7. Watch out for the yoghurts – lots of hidden sugars! Thanks so much for all your videos ….I have lived in Montpellier as a student and Auvergne as a waiter, but it's nice to be reminded of French life and shown new things too! 😉

  8. Le bidet est surtout une tradition italienne car le matin on zcair plus l habitude de se nettoyer les parties plutôt que de prendre une douche

  9. The bidet isnt just a french thing, but also you'll find that in many asian countries and for us its really difficult to use bathrooms without it.

  10. I love watching these as a French person living in Australia because you teach me about why I think and act a certain way all the time! I came here when I was young but there seems to be a lot of ingrained “French” habits and beliefs I have, and I didn’t realise why is was different until I came across your videos. So a big thank you 😘

  11. I'm from the US and I grew up in home with a bidet I admit my parents are Italian and Spaniard so that might have something to do with it. Yes when I bought my home I had a bidet put in.

  12. Hi! Thank you so much for your videos. I learn a lot about France 😄
    Regarding bidet: here in Indonesia you would find bidet almost everywhere (offices, shopping malls, etc) or at least small shower.
    Here, we can never do the “business “ if is no source of water inside the bathroom.

  13. Hahahaha, actually my French lessons basically started with "I'm tired" phrase XD. Really, I've learn it super fast and never forgot (unlike the rest of my French)

  14. Bidets function as a more hygienic way to wash after either type of evacuation hands free? Not to be too graphic but water soap free and paperfree is a préférable and considered a luxury.

  15. I studied abroad in Paris for a year and I loved the "yaourt au nature!" I liked being able to control how sweet I wanted it. Also, I fell in love with Danao, a kind of yogurt drink.YUM! Try it!

  16. Distracting via chatting: It is not just French culture in this case. I think you are on to something in your analysis about why some people chat (rudely) in the back of a workshop. Many years ago in the U.S., I attended a two week long live-in course for teachers of mathematics. This infernal, distracting chatting was a plague on our learning and enjoyment. It was not on-topic chatter, despite the engaging, challenging information being presented. After a while it became clear that the culprits were only the high school teachers. Why? Were they emulating their unruly students? Did they not carry a clear sense of courtesy toward the presenters or their peers? Were they worried that the might be embarrassed if they were to engage fully and perhaps reveal their professional weaknesses? Was it a form of narcissism that they needed to refocus attention on themselves rather than on the speakers? Were they used to being the center of attention in their high school classes? It didn't have anything to do with their level of mathematics skill since the topics were about reassessing pedagogy, and after all, they had signed up voluntarily for the course! In the end, my recommendation would be to call them out on it. There are several kind ways, publicly or privately, to help them reassess what they are doing and why.

  17. Graphic Novels are not comics although i hear a lot of people using the term interchangeable. Joe Sacco has written some amazing work on the Serbian war. He also did an amazing look at Palestine. These aren't for kids, it's another way or absorbing information…he's an artist as well as a journalist. Canada has one of the best Publishers of Graphic Novels in the world called, Drawn and Quarterly….if you or any of your followers want to check it out…they may even have french ones.

  18. I guess the "bidet" is a heritage from past time when shower didn't exist then it was more confortable for women (especially in rich families) to clean properly. There are stories about this, how it was created and how one of our president some day asked a hotel to install it before to settle ^_^

  19. As an expat myself I enjoy immensely your observations, i realize that after 60 years away from France I still carry the French culture. It is refreshing. I was happy to be able to install a bidet in my Canadian home by the way. Yaourt in the diet but we do not drink milk as they do in N A

  20. I find it interesting how all Anglosphere countries are so similar – can even same basically the same – in terms of culture. We should just all unite into one giant nation haha

  21. I'm british and eat a lot of natural yoghurt. If there's no jam I'll mix a bit of sugar in. I prefer demerara to white sugar though. I visit france a lot and always appreciate the availability of natural yoghurt.

  22. I have been told that the story about the bidet is that it is a jewish tradition. I have jewish friends who would not book a hotel room if it doesn't have a bidet.

  23. I'm a kiwi been living in europe for the last 4 years, and I will never live in another house again if it doesn't have a bidet!!!

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