15 Ways Living In France Will Change You Forever



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.

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.

Business Lunches Will Never Be The Same

The things which filled you with dread are entirely different in France. Whilst anywhere else in the world, the business lunch is rife with danger – from the awkward small talk, to the dilemma of what drink to order – in France, it is really just an excuse to drink wine in the middle of the working day. Sip away.

The Eiffel Tower Will Be An Eyesore

Regardless of where you fall in this debate, to become a true French person, you must wholeheartedly protest that the Eiffel Tower is ugly. Make sure nobody catches you snapping pictures of the light show.

Clothes, Yay. Makeup, Nay

French women are all about the beautifully finished but should you lean in just a little closer you will notice that their faces are free of product. The French live in increasing dichotomies and the “dress well, look haggard” one is just the tip of the iceberg.

You Will Develop A Complicated Relationship

With France, that is. Whilst you might have gone out there with nothing but love for the country, expect to begin bad mouthing it pretty soon, and often. Bump into someone else doing the same thing? You will launch into a huge attack on them, proclaiming your love for the country. I know, it’s a hard balance.

Never Love A Street Performer Again

Whilst tourists may be into the street performers on the metro, as a French person, you are forbidden from getting any enjoyment out of them. No photo taking, either.

Rudeness And Politeness Will Become One

You have the power to insult anyone, at any point. But if you fail to call them monsieur/madame whilst doing it or do not say goodbye, expect some pretty dirty looks. French people consider small niceties more sacred than anything else. And when in doubt, use “vous”.