We are all creatures of habit.  We learn the customs, beliefs and experiences in our own environment.  There are some things here in France that I find interesting because they are simply foreign to the “American” in me.

DOGGY BAG

It is not common to ask for your remaining food to go.  Most people consider me a light eater, so one meal is often too much  for me to eat in one sitting.  Asking for a doggy bag is a regular occurence for me.  In Latte, I asked a waiter to wrap my left over meal.  He looked at the meal, then looked at me, then looked at the meal again.  Finally he said, I can’t do that, I have nothing to put it in. While at a restaurant in Palavas, I asked for my waiter to wrap my meal for me to take with me. he brought it to me in a recycled large plastic container used to store ice cream.

TIPPING.

You don’t tip waiters/waitresses in France.  I did not know this my first few days here. I was wondering why I would receive odd looks from the waiters.  However, I can’t seem to shake the uncomfortable feeling I have each time I leave a restaurant without leaving a tip.

SPEED IS NOT A PRIORITY

There are several things that move very slowly in France.  Among the items are the washers and dryers.  It takes 1 hour 20 minutes to wash a load of clothing.  It takes 2 hours and 39 minutes to dry a load– and that’s on the faster cycle.

SMOKING

Cigarette smoking is very common.  For the first few days it was affecting my breathing.  Smoking is not allowed indoors, but outdoors it’s a free for all.  I am surprised to see parents openly smoking around their young children.  Has nobody here heard the Surgeon General’s warning?

SCARVES

Nealy everyone here wears a scarf.  Men, women and even children are wrapped in scarves.  Often times, they may not be wearing a jacket, but they will have on a scarf.  I surmised that a keeping your neck warm must keep a person warm, so I tried it for myself.

3 Kisses

In the States one kiss on the cheek of a good friend is sufficient.  It;s usually a woman to woman greeting or a male/female greeting. I was accustomed to seeing Europeans kiss each other, once on each cheeck.  Here in the south of France.  There are three kisses on the cheek. A right/left/right kiss that is even done man to man.

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