When Michael found out we were moving to France, he found out that he was switching jobs with a French family. Their names are Etienne and Valerie and they have a little boy that is about a year old. I asked them send me their top ten observations because I thought it would be interesting to see what they found weird or fascinating about the United States!
Here are their top ten written by Valerie:
1- There are so many churches and religions. On sundays, many people go to the church, much more than in France.
2- There is a driving way of life ! You can do everything in your car, eat, phone, withdraw cash… We’d like to walk more sometimes…
3- Everything is very clean, the publics parks, the town, the yards are so well maintained, the grass cut perfectly. We live in a very beautiful neighborhood and love to walk, ride or run in it, we just have the feeling to be in a park !
4- People are very accomodating, they speak to you very easily, even if they don’t know you, in the street, in the grocerie. They are much more open and accomodating than french !!!
5- The weather is so humid ! And there are so many mosquitoes ! We hate them, because they love us… The only period of time to put out the trashes: I got four shots ! And the weather is actually terrible, with a lot of rain and thunderstorms, every day… We red in the newspaper it was one of the wettest year to date in Greenville… We are still waiting for the sun !
6- Amy, I understand what you said about the french feeling cold… It is crazy for us too to see the Americans wearing only T-shirt when we have a sweater and a jacket ! In preschool, the kids are often in T-shirts even in winter. But the fact is: we are cold !!!!
7- I despair (and Etienne too) of being fluent in american english, to be understood and to understand well people… The accent is so difficult for us to learn… Even if we say the good words, or if we hear words we know, we could not be understood or understand, only because of the accent… Sometimes, it is so frustrating, when in the restaurant you order something so simple than “water” or “Coke” and to be not understood !!!!
8- The american food can be so good !!!! First, I have to say it was very difficult for me to find something to cook in the groceries. I spent so much time there, and finally didn’t find anything I was looking for… Everything is different, the products aren’t the same. The vegetables and the fruits are very expensive. The two first months, we ate a lot of pizzas and pastas. But now, I know better the products, the good shops, and manage to cook as much as in France. And we met Americans who are so good cooker !!!! I have to learn a lot of american recipes !
9- It is so strange for us to see so many medicines in the groceries. The Americans seem to buy a lot of medicines and vitamins. It is very strange for us too that the pharmacies like CVS or Walgreen are allow to sell tobacoo, food, laundry detergents or toys.
10. And we are very surprised to watch advertising on TV for doctors, dentists, lawyers or medicines.