Bonjour !

If one thing shocked me here, it’s how people say hi.

First times I went to cafés and people asked me “hey, how’ya doin’?”, I was wondering if I was supposed to answer and got into big stories. I quickly understood that people did not care about my life at all. I was just supposed to say “how’ya doin'” in return.
I had a huge discussion with a friend about the way he was talking to the waiter. I was really upset and explained to him how he would be treated in France with the same behavior.

Let’s stage that.
US:
-How’ya doin’ man? Gimme a 16oz coffee.
-Sure.

France:
-How’ya doin’ man? Gimme a 16oz coffee.
-Excuse me sir?
-A SIX-TEEEEN oz coffee.
-… Hello maybe?
-Hello. A 16oz coffee.
-What about please?

If you’re unlucky, they might even spit in your coffee.

French girl in the US:
-Hello. May I have a coffee please?
-Sure ma’am. How’ya doin’?
-Oh well I’m doing fine thanks. Well, I have so many papers to write. And blablablablablabla.

Now that I live in a fancy neighborhood, I have people checking on me every time I walk. People waving, even people calling my name while waving at me. Wait, people I’ve never met before! They say they check on if people actually live in the neighborhood.

Whatever, as a French girl, every time someone waves or says “hi” on the street, my first thought is “what’s wrong with the dude, does he want a fight?”

So forgive French people if they don’t randomly smile at you!

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About Leslie Is Hungry

I’m a French student who decided to stay in the US when she was supposed to go back. Here is my experience as a non-exchange student, as a foreigner, as a woman, as an intern. Welcome to the Amerifrench life!
This entry was posted in Culture shock, Posts in English and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Bonjour !

  1. Colibri says:

    You’re just looking for an excuse to fight random strangers on the street, admit it.

  2. Olivia says:

    Hahaha…Leslie…I do the same thing as you! I still haven’t learned that “How are ya” isn’t a real question. I’m not French, just awkward.

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