One of the best things about being here with Emilie is that I can ask her questions about French culture and understand even more about it. Also, we can discuss the differences, which is always entertaining. I want to share some of the things I have learned during my stay in France.
1. This is a personal favorite of mine. Whenever French people don’t know the answer to something, they make the noise “pfft,” shrug their shoulders, and make a frowny face. My french professor was queen of this one, but it’s a common occurrence. Em and I wanted to do this justice, so I’m including a video that we found online to demonstrate.
2. Florent and Maxime taught us how to signal that someone is drunk. It’s fantastic, I’m bringing it back to America with me. You take your fist, wrap it around your nose and turn it. It looks like you’re opening a doorknob on your nose. Probably not explaining this one well, but it’s hard to do it justice.
3. Also, Louis and Kevin told us how to say that someone is drunk, “Il est roti.” Roti means roasting, but you usually use this word to talk about roasting chicken, it’s a popular meal “poulet roti.” We learned other words too, but basically they all involve food. Ergo, case in point about the French being obsessed with food.
4. When the people here in the South ask me about Paris, they more often than not ask me what I think about the Parisians. I tell them the truth, they aren’t nearly as nice the people here. Evidently, according to Kevin, everyone in France hates Parisians and Parisians hate everyone.
5. Bisous. I could probably write a dissertation on bisous. Some people do actual kisses on the cheek, some just offer you their cheek, some kiss just one side. And you seriously have to do bisous with everyone when you enter a place and when you leave. There is no escaping this. Even the guys at the club greet one another with kisses. Louis and Kevin, who have a bit of a bromance going on as they are roommates in Bordeaux and have known each other a long time, do a whole little handshake into the bisous.
6. This is just a lesson for the Mateu household. Pretty much every meal whatever is left over, I can be counted on to finish. Mamy and Papy just automatically look at me now. However if Tati Kiki comes to eat with you, you must be quick to claim the last bits otherwise she calls dibs. Whoops, lesson learned. Side note: today when I met all of Castelnau (meaning Emilie’s entire family) now included in Tati Kiki’s shpiel about me is the fact that I eat everything. Then they proceed to list each thing I have tried and liked. I’m like the 8th world wonder people.
Ok, now for what Emilie and I call “French logic.” There are a lot of things that French people say or do that to me makes no sense at all. I try to understand some of it, but pfft….
1. As I previously mentioned Florent tried to educate Em and I on the method of drinking a cocktail. Which means using a straw. Because he believes that is a more potent way to drink. To see him fiercely sipping through a straw is just great. Especially because his drink is pink due to the grenadine that they mix with alcohol to cover up the taste, in addition to sprite.
2. According to Tati Kiki, if you eat something warm, it will give you a stomach ache. When we went out Sunday to walk around downtown, Em wanted to get a pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) from this place that sells them fresh and hot with the chocolate melting inside (you jealous yet?). When Tati Kiki told Em this piece of wisdom, Em just straight up told her “pour moi, non.”
3. I have heard this one countless times and there probably is some truth to it. NEVER GO OUTSIDE WITH WET HAIR. MON DIEU. This one is a big no-no. You will catch your death (maybe sadfrenchcoatcheck girl went outside too quick right after a shower?).
4. As I’m writing this, I’m realizing just how much material Florent provided me with. Another side note, Kelsey is difficult for French people to pronounce, the l before the s throws them off. Florent called me Kesley and then he, Maxime and Kim just started calling me Nestle. Anyways, Florent told us that if you stand near a heater for too long, it will give you a headache. This one is pure french logic, please explain this to me.
That’s all I’ve got for you now, but I’m sure I’ll think of other ones. Currently I have repacked because really, who doesn’t love packing 4 months worth of stuff TWICE? Mamy just looked at my suitcases and laughed, making the motion of me sitting on them to zip them up. You got that right Mamy. I head to Bordeaux tomorrow and fly back to Paris and then Thursday I fly back to America. Mamy offered to pack me a lunch, which of course I wasn’t going to object to. She asked what I wanted and I told her the whole fridge. Oh Mamy and Papy, how I will miss thee.
I suppose I will write a serious entry about my experience here, but that remains to be seen. Also, parents and Dillon, I expect a welcome home sign, balloons, flowers, food, and sweatpants. Just letting you know my expectations ahead of time.