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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.