Thursday, April 24, 2014

Random Ramblings - Part 4

I was sitting here thinking about all the random things about France that I haven't yet mentioned here.  Things that I'm a little worried about in terms of re-adjusting to American life.  Things that I've gotten used to that I might need to warn Sarah and Meghan about before they get here (TWO DAYS!!!!).  So, here is my final list of random ramblings about my frenchified life:

Detachable Shower Heads

Yes!!!!  If you've ever found yourself praying for a day when detachable shower heads are the norm, maybe start praying in French, because the 'dieux des douches' are wide awake here.  Detachable shower heads are seriously in every shower.  It might be difficult to go back to the stationary stream...  Oy.

Hustle and Bustle

The French have a very different understanding of personal space in public places.  Whether the sidewalk is crowded or not, old ladies will check you like an Alabama State line-backer if you're in their way.  At first I wondered if there were reinforced shoulder pads on their old-fashioned dresses, but that was before I realized that these public displays of disorderliness were a cultural norm enjoyed by all ages.  Pushing a stranger aside, bustling their bags, or even just full-on running into a total stranger for no apparent reason are not really considered rude here.  It's normal.   Happens all the time.  I'm still writing this a little in disbelief of some of the things I've seen.  Just like, someone totally pushing people to cut in line or just simple to get where they want to go (regardless of age, gender, size, all that just goes out the window)...  This is especially crazy here in France because otherwise people are SOOOOO polite.  Good morning, good afternoon, yes ma'am, yes sir, yes please, no thank you...  I mean, if you need some bread you better say 'yes please ma'am thank you have a nice day', but if there is a human being in your way go ahead and hustle and bustle the hell out of them.  You'll fit right in!

Commercials' commercials

In addition to still having panty hoes commercials here they also show commercials for commercials.  Every station (at least on public access anyway) has commercials warning you that five to ten minutes of commercials are about to begin or end.  Commercial breaks only happen once (maybe twice) during an hour-long show.  The commercials themselves also happen to be a lot less annoying.  I can't really explain why.  They're funny - or at least clever in some way - and normally play off of the different quirky things about France or other European countries.  In the most extreme cases, this manifests as me watching commercials and then changing the channel or just turning the TV off completely when the show comes back on.  Ha!

Aerosol Deodorant

This is more just an oddity that I find interesting.  The deodorant aisle at the supermarket here looks like the air freshener aisle in the States.  Indeed.  That means that for the last nine months I've been assaulting my underarms every morning with blinding whirlwinds of spray antiperspirant...  It definitely still feels like I'm febreezing my armpits...  and I still stink.  Haha...  So, yeah.

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