Or should I say bonjour?
I’ve been in France for almost two months now, a month and a half of absolute silence on my blog (didn’t see that coming, did you?) and I think it was about time I got back on track. It’s not that Erasmus is absolutely crazy, which is true a lot of the time. It’s that when you move to a new city, heck a new country, you want to discover it. To see what it has to offer. And to make new friends, eat new food and travel. So without further delay, I want to present you ten things I love about France, so far.
- People say bonjour all day long. And when I say all day long, I mean ALL DAY LONG. Even in the evening! So if your French is a bit rusty, you’ll be more than glad to find out that you don’t need a lot of other phrases to greet your friends. A bonjour will do just fine.
- They are organised. At least as far as my faculty is concerned, they have it all together. Coming from a country that may or may not be a bit disorganized, I love this change. You can find touch screens in each floor so that you can’t avoid finding where and when is your next class. Genius move right there, genius move.
- Le pain au chocolat. How could I not mention it? To be honest, I struggled not to put it first on the list. And this comes from a person that is not crazy about chocolate most of the time.
- In France everyone is kind. And I mean next level kind. If they see you struggling with your luggage at the metro, they will definitely offer you a helping hand. (And usually multiple persons as well) The bus drivers say bonjour as you enter the vehicle and you would be definitely impolite if you excited a shop without saying merci and au revoir. If you meet someone at the corridor, stranger or not, you have to say hi. It would be rude not to acknowledge their existence.
- Coffee and tea is cheaper. Also, both in the student residences and in the university buildings you can find vending machines that serve a variety of different types of coffee, cacao and tea for about 50 cents each. 50 cents. Crazy, right? And what’s even better is that they actually taste delicious.
- The style. I don’t know how they do it, but French people are stylish. They don’t go overboard with the accessories, yet they seem to embrace that simplicity is chic. Given that I don’t live in Paris, I thought that this stereotype would prove to be wrong. But I was wrong. If living in France includes taking style lessons on the daily, I can’t complain.
- They go to the library. Here in Limoges one can find a very modern library, full of books, cds, encyclopedias, magazines and everything in between. What is even better is that there are a lot of citizens who take advantage of it by borrowing books and magazines for a few days.
- The patience. Try waiting for more than fifteen minutes in Greece and in France. I’m sure that you will notice a difference. In Greece you can notice the huffing and puffing a few minutes after the arrival, while in France the average citizen is going to be waiting silently, playing on their smartphone or reading a book.
- I couldn’t not mention the beauty of the french language. As much as you’ve studied it back home, you will likely be taken aback by the speed and the way the french pronounce the words. It’s hard not to fall in love with it.
- The nature. I live in an average city with a population of about a hundred thousand people. However, there is a river crossing it, a botanical garden next to the cathedral and a huge park very close to where I live. As much as I love Athens, it’s great to wake up to trees right next to your window every morning. If only it didn’t rain every. single. day ! Spring here must be a dream.
So to sum it up, France is pretty amazing. So amazing that it’s hard to cut it down to 10 things. After this short break, you can officially consider this as my comeback.
Till the next time,
P.S.: The cover photo was taken by Henri Cartier-Bresson.