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International Travel Leads to French Culture
France and America are two very different countries which America has realized again and again this past year. However, this article isn’t about politics; it is about French culture. For three weeks, I had the opportunity to experience the culture of France with an ice cream cone in one hand and a pastry in the other. With something new hidden behind every corner, it was a great experience.
In this article, I will tell you about some differences that I noticed between France and America. First, I will discuss the food. Secondly, I will talk about the transportation and the fact that Americans sometimes forget their legs. Finally, I will chat about the French restaurants that move as slow as escargot.
The difference in French food was mild in comparison to the size of the portions. McDonald’s is a perfect example of that difference! In France, when you order a large drink, it is comparable to an American-sized medium and no free refills! As a rule, French fries, cheeseburgers, etc., also seemed to come in smaller sizes. It was like another world because “Biggie Size” just did not exist in France.
The small portions of food in France could easily be compared with the French people’s small waistlines. There is a possibility that their transportation has something to do with it. As I stated earlier, Americans seem to forget their legs. French people, on the other hand, can’t forget their legs because they have them constantly in use! Every day I would walk at least five miles and enjoyed it! Maybe if America were more walker-friendly, more people would walk.
I also missed my car when I wanted to meet friends at a restaurant across town. This brings me to my third difference, French restaurants. The experience of a restaurant in France is completely different than in America. Besides escargot being on the menu, I also got to experience the slow-paced atmosphere. Dining out would usually take two to three hours per meal. The waiters took their time and it was worth the wait because the food was delicious! It was very different from the usual, fast-paced, American- restaurant atmosphere. I was bored with the leisurely French meals after a week or two. This made me homesick for the American waiter who constantly asks, “Do you need anything else?” and, “Are you ready for your check?”
My experience in France was fantastic! I would love to go back and learn more about their cultural differences in the future. It was awesome to get the chance to compare my country to another and to learn that I love both cultures. I enjoyed everything -- eating the food, using my legs for transportation and dining in slow-paced restaurants. It’s amazing the differences that lie just over the Atlantic. I’m just waiting for another chance to go back!