Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Observations of the French

1. They always look good, even when they are walking up a very large, steep hill.
2. They know how to relax and enjoy what they are doing.  For example, they work 35 hours a week, and the retirement age is 55.  The government is trying to raise it, and the people are striking on Tuesday.  They also take two hours for lunch.  At a restaurant, they never rush, and typically it will take the full two hours to drink your wine, eat your meal, eat your dessert, and drink your coffee.
3. They are much more personal than Americans.  When a woman (such as I) meets a man, they shake hands.  By the time they leave the event they are attending, they "faire le bise".  This means an air kiss on the cheek a certain amount of times.  Depending on your area, you could kiss up to even four times.  Here, though, we kiss twice.  When you arrive somewhere, if you don't kiss everyone, it is very rude.  The same applies to when you leave.  Therefore, when you are ready to leave, it will take quite some time to actually leave.
4. Here in Saint-Etienne, the people are much more patient with you if you are lost or don't speak French very well.  They will often help you find your way, or even accompany you to where you need to go.  While at the bank on Friday, Mrs. Bearden needed to get money exchanged.  We went to a bank, but they couldn't exchange money there.  When Camille asked where they could get it exchanged, the banker and a woman there explained how to get there, showed them on the map, and the woman offered to walk with them there.  They ended up going only with Laura (a girl from ISEP) while Mom and I bought shoes.  That sounds like we ditched them, but we didn't!  Mom needed new shoes because hers were not the best for walking.

Those are some observations thus far.  On a side note, I am not sure if people actually live in my hall.  I hear people, but never see them.  Everyone locks their door, even when they are home.  It's just a security thing, but so different from being at North Park where I had my door open almost all the time.

1 comment:

  1. Abby, I didn't realize you were gone already! :( Don't forget to send me your mailing address. It sounds like things are going well so far. I'll be praying for you.

    P.S. Today, while watching it on ABC Family, I decided that I'm finally going to buy my own copy of "The Sound of Music" while I'm at Target...that is all, haha!

    Love you, chica! :)