Travel - Why the French don’t show excitement
When I was 19 years old, after five years of back-and-forth trips that grew longer each time, I finally relocated officially from the United States to France. Already armed with a fairly good grasp of the language, I was convinced that I would soon assimilate into French culture. Of course, I was wrong. There’s nothing like cultural nuance to remind you who you are at your core: my Americanness became all the more perceptible the longer I remained in France, and perhaps no more so than the day a French teacher told me his theory on the key distinction between those from my native and adopted lands. “You Americans,” he said, “live in the faire [to do]. The avoir [to have]. You may also be interested in:• Why Finnish people don’t like to chat• The odd philosophy Icelanders live by• Why people think Germans aren’t funny The moment he said it, it made perfect sense. During two-hour lunch breaks, they sat at sidewalk cafes and watched the world pass them by. My French husband agrees.
Related: Clichés - stéréotypes - représentations