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    Dear French People: I Love You, But Please Explain Yourselves On These 20 Points

    Does it ever feel awkward to kiss your boss?

    Hi! I'm Evie, and I've been living in Paris since last March. My main goal in being here is to master the French language and stuff my face with baguettes, but as I've settled in, I can't help noticing all the differences between the US and France (like delicious baguettes, for example).

    Evie Carrick

    In addition to the carbs, here's a bunch of stuff I'm curious about.

    1. Does greeting people with a kiss ever feel awkward?

    FranceInfo / Via Giphy /

    In France, you "faire la bise" (give a kiss) to say hello and goodbye to friends and family — and, yes, sometimes to people you've just met. Here's how it goes down: Lean in, touch your cheek to the other person's cheek, and make a kissing sound.

    Best-case scenario: It's your crush. Worst-case scenario: It's your boss.

    2. Do you actually get any work done after that three-hour, three-glasses-of-wine lunch?

    Comedy Central

    The French love a long lunch. And they pair all that amazing food with a glass of wine — or three.

    3. How come you never eat on the go?


    Coffee to go and eating while walking are not a thing. In France, you sit for every meal, including your morning café.

    4. How do you have time to go to the cheese shop for cheese, the meat shop for meat, and the bread shop for bread?

    Comedy Central

    Ingredients are king in France. And for most people, it's worth the extra mileage to buy that round of Camembert from the local cheese shop rather than do one-stop shopping at the grocery store.

    5. Why the obsession with raw meat?

    6. How come every baked good you make is so delicious, but your cookies are so horrible?

    Sony Pictures

    There’s an annual competition for the best baguette — but the chocolate chip cookies are lacking.

    7. Why does everyone still smoke?

    Les Films Impéria

    In 2018, around 14 percent of people smoked cigarettes in the US, while nearly 27 percent of the French identified as smokers in 2017.

    8. Why do you always respond to tourists in English even if they’re trying to speak French?


    Your French might be good — even great — but the moment you mispronounce something or use the wrong definite article, the French will switch to English.

    9. Why don’t you like to make small talk?

    CBC Television

    Surface-level chitchat doesn’t go over well. Unlike Americans, who constantly feel the need to connect, the French will hold back and check things out before buddying up.

    10. And why do you love to argue?


    From philosophy to art to politics, the French like to talk about the big stuff — and sometimes they get heated while doing it.

    11. Why do you refuse to put in air-conditioning and then complain how hot it is all summer?


    France may have recently recorded its highest-ever temperature — 45.9 degrees Celsius (or 114.6 Fahrenheit) — but don't expect to find AC everywhere. Most of the buildings were constructed during the pre-AC days, and the French don't seem in a rush to change things.

    12. Why does EVERYONE vacation in August?


    Every summer, Paris practically shuts down to accommodate the city’s mass exodus.

    13. How come it's almost impossible to find recycling bins in public places? And how come everyone still uses plastic water bottles?

    New Line Cinema

    That being said, the water fountains in certain parks have sparkling water on tap, for free. Reason enough to splurge on a reusable water bottle and go fully eco.

    14. How come you have beautiful parks — but don’t let people sit on the grass?

    15. Why are there so many lost cats around Paris?

    16. Why does it take a pile of paperwork to open a bank account? Or, really, to do anything.

    Rosanna Pansino / Via

    Bureaucracy is alive and well in France — as is the paperwork that goes with it. Whether you're looking to rent an apartment, renew your visa, or pay your taxes...prepare for paper.

    17. How do you know when to switch from "bonjour" (good day) to "bonsoir" (good evening)?

    Paramount Pictures

    There seems to be no reliable rule on this one. Some people switch to "bonsoir" around 5 p.m., others wait till after dark, and some seem to switch it up daily.

    18. Why is it so important to say hello when you enter a store?


    In France, it’s rude not to. The same goes for goodbye.

    19. Why do you always opt to sit outside — even in the middle of winter?

    Disney / HBO

    The Parisian sidewalk café is iconic. It's a place to post up, sip a coffee, and watch the world pass by — and for the French, the winter cold is not a deterrent.

    20. And finally, how does everyone look so disheveled and so perfect at the same time?

    Paramount Pictures

    Never has minimal makeup and a topknot of unbrushed hair looked so glam. It's an art.

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    Jay Fleckenstein / BuzzFeed