English people seem to have a lot of stereotypes about French people, just like a lot of countries do about us. Some good some bad, but since being here I have definitely learnt which ones aren’t true!
1. French people are rude. THIS IS SO NOT TRUE!!!! In my case, they are some of the nicest people I have ever met. From the moment I got here everyone has been so welcoming and willing to help me. Even the students are really lovely and they are always extremely eager to learn English.
2.French people were stripes. Ok so it’s not entirely false because I have seen people wearing stripes, but not any more than a person from England would. And French people certainly don’t all walk around the streets wearing stripes. Ironically when I told my class this stereotype about them, I was wearing a long sleeved striped top and they all laughed at me.
3.The beret. I don’t think i’ve seen one person wearing a beret while I have been here.
4. Garlic. This is a weird one. When I told my class that we think French people are obsessed with garlic and wear it on a string around their neck, they were so confused! Also, I think the lack of garlic bread here is enough proof for me that they are not obsessed with garlic.
5. French Kisses. French people are very affectionate. Everyone (no matter what age or gender) will greet each other with a small kiss on each cheek (they are called bise). Even when they didn’t know me and met me for the first time we did the two kisses. I see the kids at school doing it, teachers in the staff room, two guys who fist pump first and then kiss each other on the cheek. I think it’s a really cute gesture and it’s so nice that everyone does it. In terms of PDA, there’s a lot of that, especially in the highschool where I work.
6. Baguettes. This one is true. There is so much bread everywhere and I always see people out and about buying baguettes.
7. Smoking. SO many french people smoke! I see so many of the students from the high school smoking, and more than I can remember from when I was at school. I think it’s quite a social thing here.
8.Snails. In terms of true and false, it’s definitely true that they eat snails. But I think we assume they eat snails and frog’s legs 24/7, which is not true. Since i’ve been here I have encountered snails once and that was when Libby and Rachel ordered them in Paris. One of the teachers said she is going to make me some because I have to try them while I’m here!
9. Frog’s legs. Similar to snails really, in terms of I haven’t actually seen then but I know people do eat them. Lots of the kids at the school told me to never try them when a teacher offered to make me some! Whereas, some kids were telling me they eat them on Christmas Day!
10. Wine. The French do love their wine, and who can blame them when there’s so much of it and it’s so nice?! There have been many occasions at the school where there has been wine in the staffroom, and for the school Christmas Dinner, there was wine on the tables for the staff. When you go to the supermarkets it’s unbelievable how cheap it is for a bottle, and how nice it still tastes even if it’s the cheapest one!