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Old 04-02-2007, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Chicagoland area
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Whenever I think of France, all I can think of is a bunch of people shopping, and spending ridiculous amounts of money on clothes.

can someone englighten me about life in France?
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Old 04-02-2007, 05:39 PM
Status: "Elect a clown? Expect a circus!" (set 25 days ago)
 
Location: By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea
58,168 posts, read 40,957,744 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHICAGOLAND92 View Post
Whenever I think of France, all I can think of is a bunch of people shopping, and spending ridiculous amounts of money on clothes.

can someone englighten me about life in France?

Are you sure you're not confusing France with Beverly Hills ?

I've been to a number of European countries but not France, I did spend 10 years with a French company and have a very good French born friend. I think people are more alike than different, the basics are the same. They want family, food, and a roof over their heads. Some you'd like and some you wouldn't. I have heard some bitching about a certain class of Parisians which may be what you're picturing. But the same devotion to material goods exists in many other places as well.
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Old 04-03-2007, 03:10 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,909,074 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burdell View Post
They want family, food, and a roof over their heads. Some you'd like and some you wouldn't. I have heard some bitching about a certain class of Parisians which may be what you're picturing. But the same devotion to material goods exists in many other places as well.
Yes.
I am sure there are conspicuous consumers in France, perhaps particularly in Paris. But the times I have visited folks seemed very down to earth.
Last year my kid was living in a small town in southwest France. I spent about ten days with him. The old-town part of it was very charming, but the rest of it was not that different from any place in the USA: sporting goods stores, a shopping mall, etc. I don't think they had McDonald's there, (but I did see it in Montpelier during another visit--actually we ate there, because it was the only place we could find open on a Sunday).
One thing I really enjoyed was the open market in the center of town--it went on and on and had all sorts of delicious foods, some made before your eyes.
In terms of day-to-day life, there are a few differences I've noticed. The countryside is absolutely beautiful; the plus beaux villages really are lovely, the chateaux and many other historic sites are rich with history.
France has really good public transportation--you can get anywhere you need to go. They also have a really good highway system--however those toll roads can be pricey. There really is an appreciation for tasty wine and well-prepared food, but that does not mean that dining is a uniformly superb experience throughout the country.
France has its own tensions with immigrants; soon (about a month?) they will hold their elections, and it will be interesting to see what direction they take.
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Old 04-05-2007, 08:10 PM
 
1 posts, read 12,792 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHICAGOLAND92 View Post
Whenever I think of France, all I can think of is a bunch of people shopping, and spending ridiculous amounts of money on clothes.
can someone englighten me about life in France?
It's true often for the young and for kids who thinks of marks when it comes to clothing; old adults and learned people do not care. However, there is some how a generosity in that country towards the needy. I lived for about 4 years and that's what comes in picture when i think about France. As someone said "France is a country of egalite more than it is of liberte". There is also a bit revolution and repolishing everywhere.
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Old 04-26-2007, 04:45 PM
 
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france is very multicultural. alot of africans, and arabs. french people are very friendly. not many of them speak english. politically, they are in the middle. a little more leaning to the right. now they have sarkozy, after a right wing chirac. so there is a trend.
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Old 04-27-2007, 10:44 AM
 
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go Sarkozy by the way
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Old 04-27-2007, 11:35 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
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If you want to get a very earthy and realistic view of France from an outsider's eyes, then go to itunes and download the French episodes from the Travel Channel's "Passport to Europe with Samantha Brown". - or just watch the reruns of them on the Travel Channel.

She's very likeable to watch, tosses in some humor, but also says it like it is regarding cultural differences. For instance, if you're American and go to Paris you may run across some snobbery if you don't at least attempt to speak French (which you should anyway since you're the foreigner there), yet go to other places in France and they're more open to outsiders, etc. She has several shows listed for various regions in France.

Shows like that are the best way to get a feel as a traveler sees it, and I like hers the best as she doesn't put on a show or stage anything.
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Old 04-28-2007, 02:50 AM
 
Location: Aix en Provence, France
24 posts, read 157,710 times
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Default Life in France

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHICAGOLAND92 View Post
Whenever I think of France, all I can think of is a bunch of people shopping, and spending ridiculous amounts of money on clothes.

can someone englighten me about life in France?
It's not so different than living in the States. I live out in the country next to a small village. Maybe 4,000 people in the surrounding area. Too be sure, there are many more Americans spending ridiculous amounts of money on clothes and other things than there are French doing the same thing. The French don't have the over-indulgence lifestyle that Americans seem to have. I think you would be pleasantly suprised over here. It's actually a great life.

The French are also tremendously proud; like Americans. I think that is why we have such a love-hate relationship with one another. We are both very similiar in lots of ways.

However, there are some differences in mentality on things. One of them is customer service. In France, no one cares about the consumer/customer. No one is going to go out of their way to ensure you have a great experience or to fix a problem for you. (Think AT&T or Bank of America then you know what i am talking about) After all, why should "you" be given special treatment?! No one over here likes to see someone else get more favor or a leg up on the rest.

The French are polite for the most part. As stated above, try to speak a little french to them and they love you for it! Lots of beautiful places to see and visit here. The food is amazing. The wine even more.

Things i like most about what the French have given to society:
french fries
french toast
and of course...the french kiss!
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Old 04-28-2007, 01:54 PM
 
47 posts, read 260,549 times
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you are right regarding the custom service, they are not the friendliest people BUT there as been some improvement, probably due to UK / US demand
For language, depends really on the place, for instance some parts of Paris you will be unlikely to find anyone speaking English but when you go to the "5eme arrondissement" near Parthénon and Universities well, you'll have no problem.
( I was walking over there this afternoon and trust me, I could only hear Chinese ,Spanish and English)
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Old 04-28-2007, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Old Town Alexandria
14,505 posts, read 23,769,243 times
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Thumbs up Provence-

Quote:
Originally Posted by cil View Post
Yes.
I am sure there are conspicuous consumers in France, perhaps particularly in Paris. But the times I have visited folks seemed very down to earth.
Last year my kid was living in a small town in southwest France. I spent about ten days with him. The old-town part of it was very charming, but the rest of it was not that different from any place in the USA: sporting goods stores, a shopping mall, etc. I don't think they had McDonald's there, (but I did see it in Montpelier during another visit--actually we ate there, because it was the only place we could find open on a Sunday).
One thing I really enjoyed was the open market in the center of town--it went on and on and had all sorts of delicious foods, some made before your eyes.
In terms of day-to-day life, there are a few differences I've noticed. The countryside is absolutely beautiful; the plus beaux villages really are lovely, the chateaux and many other historic sites are rich with history.
France has really good public transportation--you can get anywhere you need to go. They also have a really good highway system--however those toll roads can be pricey. There really is an appreciation for tasty wine and well-prepared food, but that does not mean that dining is a uniformly superb experience throughout the country.
France has its own tensions with immigrants; soon (about a month?) they will hold their elections, and it will be interesting to see what direction they take.

I saw a nice Travel pgm about Provence- the beautiful ancient streets; the mountains and winding roads- hope to see it some day.

I only got to see Montmartre and Paris- Beautiful (but COLD ) in January The artists and Sacre C'oeuer, the street vendors and Champs Elysees. Yes there are some materialistic parts, but there is so much to see that didnt bother me. people walk everywhere- and its refreshing. Food from street vendors //fruit etc. It was a great experience!

sunny

Last edited by dreamofmonterey; 04-28-2007 at 06:31 PM.. Reason: add
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