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Salut YouTube my name is Rosie I'm a Kiwi living in France this month I have celebrated my 4th anniversary of life in France and to celebrate or kind of anti celebrate I wanted to do a video on the three things that I still find bizarre about the French people so these are the unhappiness paradox the smoking and the relationship with mr. Ching Ching aka money these are the topics that I just feel like I haven't really cracked yet from a cultural standpoint so if you have any insights for me this time please leave them in the comments below to help me figure these things out but without further ado let's get cracking something that I noticed almost instantly and something that continues to baffle me is that the French at times sort of seemed collectively unhappy well I don't know if it's unhappiness as such but I do know that complaining is a national sport here and it kind of seems like things are never good enough maybe we can call it a kind of perpetual pessimism Just say you have a French friend that just went on a beautiful holiday in the south of France and you ask her how it was it can be pretty common to have the response of like oh yes it was good it was good but and then you get the list of buts - but it took three hours to get there there was traffic on the road oh and there were heaps of people there "il y avait un monde mais un monde" it's like you always have to present the facts and then critique and put down what just happened it's like oh it's so cold it's giving me a sore neck or oh it's so hot at the moment I can't sleep at night in New Zealand if you complain about stuff like that honestly it's kind of like oh well you know your friends are kind of like oh well you know, harden up, you get on with it it doesn't here complaining is kind of like a way to bond right and at one of the jobs that I've had here in France it was someone in the office who is always talking out loud and they were always saying things like oh oh la la, j'en peux plus là "mais c'est pas possible! Mais c'est vraiment pas possible!" and you run through and you'd be like oh can I help what's going on is there something you know something urgent that's happened and they'll be like oh my computer's taking a while to start you're like okay is that all?! And when you talk about the future with French people I think many people would agree that there's a lot of pessimism about the future in France you kind of have the impression that France is in this huge social moral economic decline in fact a recent study by Viavoice consulting showed that over fifty three percent of French people believe that the state of the nation is going to decline in the coming year and for a third of them their personal situation was only set to get worse! A recent Win Gallup report found that the expectations for French people for their lives in general were lower than those based in Iraq or Afghanistan and it kind of confuses me because you haven't so good in France in a lot of ways you've got freedom of expression sexual Liberty you have free health care free education you've got wine you've got cheese I mean it's France and compared to a lot of countries France still has a relatively high standard of living it has a high life expectancy and a high standard of general prosperity these kinds of factors usually a correlated with happiness and optimism and all of those kinds of measures so I mean what's going on in France?! I found that France is actually described in a lot of papers as an economic outlier and a paradox because it's often a lot less happy and a lot more pessimistic then it's general wealth and lifestyle factors should deem it to be. It was French economic researcher Claudia Senik that looked into this paradox into greater detail and what she found was that it's not so much a problem of the country because when she studied the happiness levels of French people based in France and French people based abroad what she found is that the French people based abroad, no matter which country they were in, whether it were New Zealand Australia Thailand Russia they would be consistently less happy than the local populations in these countries but the last interesting piece of data is that she tracked the happiness and perceptions of well-being of immigrants coming into France and what she found is that the longer that immigrants stayed in France the less happy they became over time no matter where their base country was from so in the end this French researcher concluded that it was really a question of mentality of culture and early socialization tactics which make the French as pessimistic as they are one example of this that she offered was the French education system and that perhaps because it's an education system based on negative reinforcement it is very harsh and disciplined and it's the kind of education system where you always have to do thèse, synthèse, anti-thèse you're educated in a way that always sees the one side critiques the other side and then concludes and maybe it's just kind of a general rule that they've applied to their life and happiness in general Okay so the second point chez les français Can we just take a moment to talk about the smoking thing I just want to say that I'm probably your least uptight person when it comes to smoking both of my parents are smokers I've got lots of friends who smoke casually whatever no judgment I'm not that concerned by it but it's hard to live in France and not notice the smoking and surprisingly there aren't necessarily enormously more smokers in France than in other countries but with 32% of the population smoking and there are 67 million people in France more or less, it actually ranks really highly for rich countries or so-called rich countries but I think the reason why France keeps this smokey reputation and that Paris is known as the ashtray is that there's a huge proportion of young people smoking in France and that's where the statistics get interesting so obviously if you're a young person you're more likely to be out and about in the bars on the terraces and so we can see it more so it's a lot more visible of a phenomenon 40% of 17 year olds in France are smoking and it's really common just when you're walking around outside the colleges and the middle schools here to see these beautiful young people puffing away and you just think to yourself what are you doing and to put the 40% of French youth smoking into perspective only 10% of youth are smoking in the UK and only 12% in Germany and the crazy thing is with these teens smoking as well is that they don't even try to hide it that is puffing away in their school uniform or right outside the school gates gosh Growing up in New Zealand if we were going to smoke well you better do it in the bushes it's so frowned upon my parents would have killed me and you would get in serious trouble from your school if you were caught smoking like you would get maybe even suspended from school, definitely detention, there would definitely be punishment involved but it's funny because when you ask French people about why they're smoking especially the young ones they're very confident that they're going to be able to quit like ah you know I choose to smoke now because I want to and I'm definitely gonna quit when I'm older. It's really sort of seen as something that young people do and enjoy doing and it's no big deal at all because they'll stop when they want to stop - right you keep telling yourself that The third and final thing that I wanted to talk about and I still find a bit bizarre about French people is their relationship with money I think I noticed that the French were different about money when I first started dining out with them I would notice that they would split the bill at the end of the nice evening together like really by the cent you go through the list and it's like well I took the lamb I had two beers and I'll play for a quarter of the nibbles that we had at the beginning because there's four of us. In New Zealand like I feel like we just kind of split the bill like if we were two couples eating out together for example it's fifty-fifty, it doesn't matter if one couple drunk more of the red wine and you only took Coke Zero I mean it's not a drama like it's just ok we'll pay for it more this time who cares they can pick it up for next time or not - not the end of the world. You're often being really generous and shouting people out when you take them out when you meet up with them for drinks you'll buy their drinks kind of thing and I've thought about this a lot and I'm trying to figure it out I mean is it because there's such a strong value of égalité or equality in the society that makes it socially awkward to shout someone or to pay more because it would kind of show that you had more resources than them or is it something going on there if we split it perfectly equal we're all equal and there's nothing that we can say about it and there's no judgment that can be had but I also think maybe it's a little bit more than that in general we don't really talk about money I don't know what my friends are earning in general especially my French friends okay between international friends we open up a little bit more but I feel uncomfortable asking what they're earning for example I don't know maybe my friends are super rich maybe they're struggling with debt and I don't know that and it doesn't bother me that I don't know that but it's just different because I'm used to knowing that kind of thing about my closest friends but here I know that talking about money and especiall talking about your money it's kind of vulgar and very nouveau riche in the language itself there's barely no word to say it it was cheap everything's cher (expensive) so I could share a 3 euro baguette -c'est cher - a 500 euro ticket - c'est cher there is this word bon marché but it doesn't really work it's not exactly the same and I find it kind of interesting that there's no even linguistic equivalent that can help you say oh it was cheap it was a good deal because maybe that's a way of bragging like I've got so much money that I find that cheap, I don't know, but anyway I find this super interesting so please help me understand anyway guys that's all I had to say and the sun is setting on my face so you're not gonna be able to see me very soon anymore anyway I'm looking forward to your comments I'm looking forward to your stories I'm looking forward to picking your brains down below so until next time I will sign off now and say à bientôt!