“When in France, do as the French do”
There is some honest to god truth to the statement. When in France we accept the french way of life. We inhale it, explore it love it with all our being. I mean, we pack our bags and save a thousand dollars, dying to explore its joie-de-vivre, the food, impeccable fashion, and the absolute quirks.
However, just like any country, there are some rules and customs of french life we should be aware of. There are some inevitable facts of the country that we simply cannot change. While France welcomes their tourists with big open arms, it is now our time to open our hearts to their valuable culture and values.
Say Bon Jour! (And Maybe A Little Bit More)
It is a grave impression that the entire world universally speaks in English. In France, they genuinely distaste speaking English on a daily basis. Even if they know English, they are proud citizens of a very beautiful unique language. It is not their responsibility to speak English to you ofcourse. While they are friendly, they will be even friendlier if you try to muster a few words in french. It shows that you care and understand the essence of France. Such an indication and a gesture are like a warm hug to both parties. So before departing on your first trip to France, take some time to learn a few french phrases. Learn common french phrases on well-being and learn their greetings. It can make your journey a lot more memorable!
Here are some french phrases you can practice before departing:
Good Bye– Au revoir
Thank You– Merci
Bon Soir– Good Evening
Enchanté– Nice to meet you!
Don’t Squeeze The Produce
This is literally what it sounds like!
Simply don’t touch the farm produce when you are out in french markets. I know it can be tempting. And while some cultures, typically Asian cultures, encourage them to feel the product before buying, french does not see it the same way. It is respectful to let the seller know what you are looking for and simply point at them.
Be careful of simple hand gestures and embarrassing mistakes like these.
Do Have A Hearty French Breakfast
There is nothing like a good french breakfast. This is your time for the french pastry dreams and artisan collections. Bakeries open their doors to the locals and tourists with fresh pastries that smell buttery and rich and taste just as scrumptious. The French take great pride in their pastries and gourmet cuisine. Their breakfast is one such experience we should definitely not miss.
Do Look Out For More Rules And Laws Of the Country
Don’t depend on rumors and stereotypes. We all have access to high-speed internet. With access to the internet like such as TM unifi, we simply have no excuse but to do our research. Beware of all the laws unique to France. After all, the last thing we need is to inconvenience a country that welcomed us, and ofcourse, a potential fine is not nice either.
Don’t Go Out In Sweats And Flip Flops
Have you ever seen the french running around with sweats outside the streets? Most probably not. It is quite a rare sight. The casual attire we may have in mind is completely different from the unique and chic casual attires of the french. They walk the runway of the casual attires. Make sure to pick up some tips or two on how to dress casually but like a complete queen.
Do Transport Using The Train
The French Transportation system is reliable, quick and a great money saver. It can be a hassle to get driving in some places. The train is always a good idea in France. beautiful view, convenient and cheap as well. Train stations are also open up late so don’t worry about your little late-night sneak out for a quick bite. You can make your way back home just as easily.
Don’t Leave Your Belongings In the Rented Car
Every country has its weak spots. And just like many touristic countries, crime is high in the very touristic areas. It is considered unwise to leave your belongings in the rental car when you are out exploring. If you have luggage, make sure to drop it off at the hotel before traveling around. This way you are experiencing the true joie-de-vivre of France instead of worrying about your belongings.
Do Enjoy Your Meal At A Slow Pace
France again has a very unique way of living. It is their ability to find enjoyment in little things and taking it all in that is admirable. So when in France, we should pick up a bit of this energy as well. What’s the rush in a country as gorgeous as France. When you get your food to the table, make sure you take note of how pleasant and beautiful it looks as well. Compliments and smiles go a very long way.
It is also absolute customary to eat slow and enjoy the flavors of the dish. Even if it was considered normal in Malaysia to enjoy our phones and scroll through the internet on my unifi, it is not an acceptable form of behavior in France. It is not rare to see people lounging in cafes and restaurants for hours, simply enjoying the exquisite food.
Don’t Be On Your Phone When Driving
This seems like common sense and is simply not a custom but a law. We understand that everything and everyone is connected through an unifi internet package or its equivalent in France, but this is your reminder that french does not take the phone at the driver’s seat kindly. It is for both your safety and others on the road as well.
Ready for your big french adventure? The post-pandemic world awaits you!