5 things that make you crazy when you are french in the USA

Hey guys, have you ever heard about French behavior or something?

I mean, I’m pretty sure french behavior does exist. Because people there are so special and proud of themselves that when they go to another country (or even when they stay in France), they HAVE TO complain and compare. But they are great people.

               1. Crazy air-conditioning

The first thing that really surprised me when I arrived in the United States was the air conditioning. I mean, seriously man? So it was no more than 18*C outside (yes, Celsius degrees, I know you understand me this way), and the air conditioning was on – everywhere. The big problem was not really air conditioning you know, but it was FREEZING cold. In the cab, at the restaurant, at the mall… But I was lucky to find out that air-conditioning at home was broken. Once I went to the restaurant with some friends on the middle of summer, after a long day at the beach. The air conditioning was crazy cold and we had to take our towel on ourselves to stay warm. And when we asked the waitress to turn it off, she smiled and said “oh, are you cold? People asked me to turn up air-conditioning.” – what’s wrong with these people?

French tip: we do have air-conditioning in France – yes, American people asked me that – but we do like summer and hot weather. When we use it, it is only to temper the room. This is how it works. You do not need to turn every room or place into a big freezer. Don’t worry, we are not going to melt.

               2. Food and cuisine in general

You know our reputation about food. Well, I did not realize it was true before I arrived in the United States. Even our pasta-with-cheese-and-knackis are awesome (#StudentMeal). There are lots of problems with American food. And when I say “a lot”, I mean A LOT. But I only have few hours to talk about that so let’s focus on the main problems.

  • Bread: when we were at school, we learned what bread was. But this is not true. What American people call “bread” at the grocery’s store, we literally call it “middle-of-the-bread”. They call our bread “baguette”, which is clearly different from bread. I wish you could say “Great, she got her bread, she is going to stop complaining”, not even a minute. Well, even their “baguette” is not as good as what we have in France. Let me show you the difference  

 american bread                  french bread

Can't you see the difference?

First picture: this is American baguette: as white outside as inside. It feels like you are eating a chewing gum actually. And you can fold it without breaking it. You could never do that with French bread.

Second picture: this is what we call bread: white and fluffy inside, but brown and CRUNCHY on the outside. If it is not this way, it is not really bread you know.

  • Fruits and vegetables: how do you recognize a pear from an apple? I could not. I mean, it may be exaggerated but seriously, some fruits and vegetables have the same taste. (I am not only talking about Walmart, it is the same for the Fresh Market). I missed the real taste of a fresh apple, freshly picked from the garden. Once I chose something in the fruit section of the fridge: it was round, orange-greenish - it did not look like any fruit I used to eat, so I smelt it – it did not smell anything, so I tried it – no flavor. So I asked my hostmum to tell me what it was. She said “a plum” and I laughed a little bit thinking “oh funny American people. It does not look like, smell like or taste like a plum, but you call it a plum. That’s fantastic.”
  • Cheese: should I really talk about the cheese? One of the tastiest foods we like. Well, even though we can find expansive French cheese, let me tell you that I was poor and my host parents did not really like cheese. We only got the “Mexican four cheese” from Kraft. Not tasty at all. But the worst part is that after 1 minute in the microwave (on the top of my not-tasty pastas), it did not melt. What the heck? Would have say my 8 years old girl.

French tip: don’t worry I’m going to give you some recipe. But you should go to France; it would be easier to find out what we call food.

               3. Creepy people

If you cannot define the word creepy, imagine this situation: my hostmum told me that I haven’t done a good job this day because the house was dirty (the dog was sick, and he is kind of my 5th kid). Well, she is really picky and she’s a fussy person. I did understand her frustration but I could not understand her face. She was mad but still tried to be sweet and keep smiling while she was saying that I made a really bad job with the house. Her smile was kind of fixed on her face when she was talking. I did not know it was actually possible to keep this kind of face when you are mad. Everybody is kind with you, from the banker, to the cashier, to an unknown woman in the street. “ Hey girl, how are you doing today? May I help you? “. Or the waitress, the one who ask you 10 times in 27 minutes if “everything is okay?” – dude, I’m French, if something was wrong, I would complain. Do you want to talk about other creepy people? Go to Walmart you know. They are so creepy that they have a dedicated website.

French tip: express yourself. According to scientists, there are 21 facial expressions. Use it, you know. It’s exhausting to be polite all the time.

               4. Do like everybody else, man!

We use kilometer everywhere in the world, why don’t we use something else to be different?” Well, I’m pretty sure it started this way. So we use kilometers, they use miles. We use grammes, they use ounces or better, “cup”. And when we use Celsius, they prefer Fahrenheit. I remember the first time my host dad told me “today it’s going to be 40F” and I said “well… great, no?” – he was starring at me and I realized how wrong I was when I went outside, only wearing a long-sleeved shirt. Amazing.

 French tip: it’s good to be different. WAIT, no. Not all the time.

I forgot the worse part:

               5. L’Apéro


I’m not sure people know about apéro so let me tell you. An apéro is a special moment, like having lunch with your family you know. This is a moment you share with your friends or your family, around a drink, sometimes with some chips or peanuts. You can start an apéro around 5 pm or later, but often before dinner. It is typically sharing a drink with friends. So this is one of the best things in the world! But if you live with a family who eats dinner at 6 pm, how can you get a chance to organize an apéro?


So, are you a french girl too?


Xoxo, Marlee ♥

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