vendredi 17 juillet 2015

One of the most annoying thing about Europeans

and yes, I have to say Europeans because it's not just the French.

Coming from an Anglo country where, generally speaking, our culture is open and friendly... I HATE the fact that Europeans are so closed. They are a bit better in the southern countries but still... everyone seems so cold and unfriendly.

Strangers just don't speak to each other. That's the unspoken rule. And it's ok if they are from that country but if you are a foreigner AND a stranger (ie me) and attempt to speak to a local person (for no particular reason ie you are not asking for directions or the time or something) they look at you as if you are a freak. This has happened to me over and over again.

Or... I just make conversation to be friendly and after about 2 back-and-forths, it's over. It's ridiculous. Whereas with a stranger who is an Anglo we could talk for ages and ages. I just don't get it and it's frustrating as hell!

I went to networking events I went to a big TedX event and nobody spoke to me! OK maybe 1 or 2 and they were always American! And if I dared try to talk to someone they would ignore me or talk to me for 2 minutes before leaving. Also, most of these networking events are so male-orientated that if a girl talks to man I think he thinks I'm trying to chat him up or something and he feels weird about it.


This is one thing I will never get no matter how long I live here and I hate hate hate it!!

Art of the bise (French cheek kiss)

To bise or not to bise? That is the question. 

I just made that up hahaha. Like my silly sense of humour?

Just in the last day someone told me about this video - The art of the bise (unfortunately it's in French which doesn't help foreigners by hey, you could improve your French at the same time! ;) ) It talks about when, with whom, how many and all the subtle little nuances... Personally, if I've never met the person before I give them a handshake. Often, they will be the one to initiate a bise but I never offer first.

 On that note, I also usually wait to see if the other person will tutoie me first. Sometimes I suggest it, particularly if they are around the same age or younger than me and most are happy to tutoie each other.


and also yesterday I came across this link with a map of France and how many they do in each region. If you've been following my blog I spent many years out of France but we did 3 and now in Lyon they do 2. When I first arrived and started doing 3 people would look at me awkwardly or even laugh before they realised what was happening (without me having to tell them why). A bit embarrassing but it makes for a funny conversation afterwards though! :D

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