#15. Here, Facebook vousvoyer’s you. I’ve never felt so respected by a piece of technology! For those of you who don’t know the in’s and out’s of the innate hierachal system of the French languge, there are two different ways of addressing someone in the “you” form – “tu” and “vous.” Tu is used for your friends, people you know well. Vous is for people who you need to show respect to – professors, parents, etc. Make this distinction and learn it well, it could have some prettttty big potential for a malentendu if you accidentally “tu” when you should’ve “vous”ed. So, faites attention!
#16. Balls are the closest thing you’ll get to a sorority/fraternity formal here in France, but there’s really something to be said for a nice Greek sponsored tab at a local trashy bar while you’re wearing a cocktail dress. While Saturday was fun, I’ve never appreciated being a PiPhi as much as I do now.
#16.5. I should add something here: men in uniforms are a plus. This is something we should really consider instituting back in the US for formal events – ahhem fratstars – beacuse honestly, everyone looks better in a military-esque uniform. Marines with French accents? D’accccccord.
#17. The French are, in general, “be-ers” while Americans are “do-ers.” Let me clarify (as per usual): in our class discussion today, which was the most sophisticated use of FranGlais that I’ve ever heard (and I’m fluent in this mixture, so that’s saying something) that the French can just be. And for any of you who have seen me on a stressful day, all I really want to do “is JUST BE.” Let me drink my coffee, read my book, stare into space IN PEACE! Here, that happens. Sure, you may end up 30 minutes late to an appointment but you could, if you wanted to, eat each individual flake of your perfectly buttered and baked croissant without once glancing at your watch to check the time. Unimaginable, right? And while there’s a fine line between peace and just being plain slow (something else I can’t stand), it’s kind of nice that that’s an option here. Par contre I am a New Yorker and if being here has taught me anything it’s that I cannot tolerate things done slowly when they can be done in 15 minutes or less. Guess being in France has taught me more than just language: I am aware, now, that I would be hard pressed to find somewhere other than NY to spend the rest of my life. To be honest, I’d probably stroke out before the time I hit 40 if I had to pretend that I could mosey through the streets at a glacial pace. (Really people, just a littttttttle faster!)
#18. This place has the potential to make even the Grinch like Christmas. I am that person that is insanely annoyed when radio stations play Christmas music before Thanksgiving is even over, but with my lack of connection to the outside world – this has happened far less frequently than at home. (Damn you 106.7 and your incessant need to spread cheer and good will to man!) Also normally around this time of year, I would be cursing the forced Hallmark happiness that surrounds me as I state to any and all people with ears that I hate Christmas.And it’s true – I do. But with all of these lights and little chalets lining the Cours Mirabeau, it’s hard not to feel my heart growing a few sizes. So while I still remain your lovably green and fuzzy idol of all that is anti-Christmas cheer (sorry, Jesus), it’s getting harder by the day. Someone even called me out and said that I do like Christmas and am lying to myself. I’m currently planning my revenge by taking all of her Christmas presents on the night of the 24th. Watch out, Sage!
#19. AUDREY AUDREY AUDREY AUDREY AUDREY and something else about AUDREY. Now when she reads my blog, she’s mentioned and involved 🙂 But really, she is. I just haven’t had the opportunities to really write about it. Yet.