Tutorial Transcript

Salut YouTube for those of you who don't know me my name is Rosie I'm a New Zealander living in France and I like to make videos about what life in France is really like and trying to navigate the French culture and figure it all out and today I wanted to do a video on those little things that you notice when you're living in France little French culture shocks that make you think really? It's not that these things they ever good or bad or the right way or the wrong way but it's just those things that naturally, through living in a foreign country as an outsider looking in, you notice them because they're just so different to what you're used to so without further ado let's get into some of the random things that I've noticed since living in France. The first thing I want to talk about is the French and their use of checkbooks. Before I moved to France the last time I had seen a checkbook as I used as a form of payment was when my little 87 year old grandmother would go to the bank and write her cheque to get out her $20 spending money for the week. It's something that I really really associate with the older generation and just been completely obsolete form of payment but it's not really the case in France like when I moved here I realised that you need a checkbook like as a young person in their 20s you're gonna need a checkbook to pay for any university fees, to pay for your bond, these kinds of things. I don't know why but sometimes it's checks only and I got curious and I looked into it because I was like is it just me or is this a really normal thing in Europe and turns out that France actually has the highest rate of check usage in Europe I can link the study down below for those of you who are interested. I personally find checks such a hassle to use I mean if you receive them you have to physically go to the bank fill out a little slip put it in the envelope deposit it and then you know several days later it gets processed so I don't really know what the love affair is with the checks ! Another culture shock that I want to talk about is that the French like to leave their animals whole - they'll serve the chicken on the table and the chicken will still have his little neck and his little head attached or they'll serve a fish and you've got the fish head there the whole fish I mean it's just they're looking at you, like its big round eye hello and even in my canteen at work so this is a professional environment you go into the canteen to choose your meal and we had a pork option and it was Jambon du Lait and for those of you who don't know what that is it's when you take young baby piglets this is awful but yeah and you you cook them and they have the entire I can't even say it but they had the whole piglets just there on display actually and I understand that a good way of making you realize that it's actually you know real animals that you're eating etc and also sort of related to that I've noticed that they'll eat their meat raw here a lot so there's obviously the famous steak tartare and the other day I mean because I don't necessarily always understand every single word and French especially when we're looking at a restaurant menu I ordered the duck on the menu and I wasn't expecting that but it came out as a kind of raw peices as well chunks of duck I guess formed into a patty but it was not cooked and so there's definitely something around appreciating food in its whole form or in its original form. Something else that you may notice in France depending on where you're from in the world is that things often run late here especially you know when you're meeting up with friends when you're in a work context and a meetings meant to be starting I think that things consistently run a little bit late like it's totally okay to me your friend and show up 5 to 10 minutes late or to start a meeting 5 to 10 minutes late and this is something that I didn't have a word for for a really long time but I do now it's called a time flexible culture and France is a time flexible culture and it means they view time more on an order of magnitude so at a general ballpark rather than a specific and exact quantity. For the French it's the Italians who are always running late for example it's all relative but that's something that I noticed at first. Speaking of the French versus the Italians actually I'm sure if there's any Italians watching this they're gonna laugh at me but I find that the French keep in touch with their family a lot and again it's all relative because the French people find that Italians to keep in touch with their family a lot I know quite a few Italians that are working here in Paris and they feel like they need to call their mum their parents every single day or you know several times the weight gets of their normal and in France I see a lot of at least weekly catch ups with family or having Sunday lunches together as a family ritual and that's a very frequent and very normal and I know now that my boyfriend on her Sunday evenings he calls his whole family and that's the bare minimum and he may also call them on the Wednesday on the Thursday that kind of thing that I remember thinking like wow you know he just called his dad on Wednesday and he's calling him again on Sunday like what else does he have to tell him I mean what is there to talk about but they just talk about what they what they do during the week how work went and oh I'd have forgot to tell you on Thursday night and when I'm I went and bought a new book and just like daily life events stuff and they chat about that. Something else I've definitely picked up working in France is that there's a lot of things that go unsaid and so sometimes there's a lot of interpretation and analysis of the communication because I mean as a New Zealander I'm used to things being very straightforward clear straight up what you say is what you mean in front especially in the working world I find but even in there it's more subtly in their sense of humor there are a lot of a lot of innuendos a lot of hints at things a lot of words chosen and everyone else kind of just gets it and they read between the lines talk a lot in France about the sous entendu like what have you heard underneath what was actually said we have this a lot as well and sending emails in the workplace so I feel like there's a lot of reading and rereading and rechecking of emails to make sure that the message is is clear even if you're not saying it explicitly and also on the receiving end a lot of interpretation so colleagues come in together and be like what do you think she means by that. Sometimes I'm just like why do we have to make it so complex I mean as a communication style but that's the way it is. Something else that has kind of shocked me since living in France is that people aren't afraid to kind of tell you off I've seen families on the train and they have French parents and their little French children and maybe the children are quite excited colouring in and making a little bit of noise and you'll actually have people like turn around and kind of school them like kind of give them you know parenting advice will tell them what to do to keep their kids under control or just the other day I saw that you know in the reception at work they were obviously some visitors that had come in and they were going the wrong way if they were walking in the wrong direction to enter the building so and the receptionist was like no no no madame no madame c'est pas par là no madame and honestly the way she was speaking to them just really reminded me of the way that a parent speaks to a young child it's hard to explained I'll have these people that kind of scorn and tell people off as if they are telling a child of and they're reminding people like we don't do that that's not respectful this kind of thing and that's really how they can talk to each other when they kind of tell each other off if that makes sense and yeah it's a really funny thing to see actually when two grown adults are kind of speaking to each other like I'm telling you off you are very naughty for breaking that rule. Another culture shock which you're really not gonna like if you're a germ freak which I kind of am a little bit when you go to the doctor's here in Paris at least you often go to them in apartment buildings so when you go to see medical professionals whether that be dentists doctors gynacologist whatever it may be you often go to their apartment building so rather than it being a nice sterile clinic with white walls and everything feeling very sterilized and very clean and you're in a lounge basically I think it's because when you think of these old apartment buildings you think about how they might get dusty or how you know it's a home it's not a sterile clinic and that kind of freaked me out at first because I was like oh this just feels a little bit different like I felt less reassured about how clean everything was for sure.Another thing that you notice when you live in France is how much food is like the topic that binds any French person together I think there are a lot of regional and cultural differences even between French people depending on where you're from in France or what kind of family you grew up in and stuff but I think the thing that really binds every French person together is food I think that the values of France should be liberty Aguila tea LeBouf food it's one of their favorite topics you want that conversation starter to get talking to someone you don't know yeah but where are you from in France what's your regional dish this is like the magic question the reason I noticed this is because I get asked all the time like it's it's just a standard order of conversation like where are you from New Zealand okay how far away is that how long does it take you to get home what's your national dish this is always in like the top five questions that they ask it's really really important food identity food history food rituals I mean it's definitely not a cliche the French are obsessed with food another thing that's kind of interesting about coming to France whether you're visiting or you're living here is how you approach talking to French people about their accent I was quite surprised because we all know that the French accent has been rated the number one world's most sexiest accent so for me it's a real compliment to say to someone wow I love your accent or why you've got such a strong French accent if you say that to a French person here they'll be really offended so that was quite shocking for me because I've gone on my whole life thinking that it would be such a compliment to have a French accent whereas for them they're very ashamed that they have an accent like they haven't mastered English they feel a bit embarrassed about having their accent when they speak English so if you're actually saying to someone like oh my gosh you've got such a strong French accent it's lovely that they may think that you're actually being very mean to them the last shop that I want to talk about you'll be able to relate to if you've been an expert working in France but it's very workplace related but it's the concept that in France it's very very difficult to fire people or to lay people off which is a wonderful thing but what do you do for those people because they exist where they don't actually perform in their job and they're not adding any value to the company and yet you owe them a job like they they have their job for life at your company you cannot get rid of them so something that really surprised me is that there's actually this thing is called putting people in la placa and like putting people in the closet and it's where you give people like these really random jobs or a really crappy job but just to keep them occupied and you still keep paying that of course I mean I was a bit shocked and taken aback about there and I thought it was really unfair of course it's such a minority that it's not that big of a deal but I found that really unfair I'm so for the protective nature of the employment law here but at the same time I was just like what a waste of money like because we're paying that person three times what a new graduate burns we have to be very frugal about hiring new graduates because we don't have the budget I'm just like hmm something's just not working here cool so I'm gonna wrap it up there for now guys I could keep talking about the stuff forever I've got so many on my list but I don't want the video to be too long if you've come all the way to the end of this video and you're not subscribed to my channel please do consider subscribing so that I know that you're out there and so that you can keep up to date with the videos that I release every single week on expert life by cultural relationships working abroad all that kind of fun stuff but until next time I'll see you guys in the next video at the enter