Peculiarities Pictured Above
Block of butter: I really prefer my butter in already measured strips that are easily used in recipes, but apparently that’s hard to find in France. It’s still butter though, so that’s good.
Bathroom (toilet), Bathroom with a bath: For some unknown reason, our hotel room and every apartment we looked at had one room for the bath, sink, mirror, etc, and a completely separate room for the toilet. …because everyone wants to be locked in a small, windowless, sinkless, room, where the smells have nowhere to hide while they’re doing their business.
Potato Pizza: This isn’t just France – this is pretty common in at least Italy too.
Things to note from France about weeks 2 and 3.
Saving money on furniture is easy when shopping at Ikea, but don’t forget that when you get it home (or when the delivery arrives) that you still don’t actually have furniture – you have to build it first. This can be interesting with small children that like to help and swallow screws.
Internet and TV service is cheaper in France than it is in the States, especially if you bundle together Internet, TV, and telephone service. Use free.fr to get the best deal. Use Bouygues to be overcharged and not have any internet service a week after the install date.
Tip: Open your bank account before you arrive. Start very early because the required paperwork is ridiculous even once you get there and already have a bank account. I also suggest trying BNP Paribas instead of Crédit Agricole (CA) as I haven’t had many good experiences with CA.
Ham is everywhere and you cannot escape. The french have it in sandwiches, pizzas, mixed vegetables, and anywhere else you can imagine. Definitely do not order a pizza with bacon and expect that it will have bacon on it. The bacon they have is “Canadian bacon” (aka) ham.
My current work schedule:
9am to 12:30pm: Work
12:30 to 2pm: Lunch
2pm to 6pm: Work
This is not an accurate representation of a typical work schedule in France, but somehow this is normal to the people at my work. My coworkers and other people have told me that it depends on the company where you work and I have seen that this is true. Work schedules vary greatly.
Sometimes the french language doesn’t have enough words, so they reuse them. Some of these are words where you can’t simply say “I have a …” without any context because it would be unclear what you’re talking about.
1) a trombone.
2) a paperclip.
1) a napkin.
2) a towel.
1) a battery.
2) a pile (as in a pile of papers).
1) a piece of paper.
2) a leaf.
la crème aigre:
1) sour cream. Not to be confused with crème faiche, which is easier to find but is not sour cream.