A few months back I started a series that my readers seemed to like, so I came back with more.
I write about the taken-for-granted things that I got accustomed to in the US, but are not the norm or even known where I’m from. It’s good for me to remember them — of course, I’ve already lost some of my frenchness, but maybe there is hope; what if I could boost my memory!?
So… when I lived in France, and before I came to America…
1) I was able to vote. I have been in the US for nearly 8 years and… I am barely a resident. Not a vote-worthy citizen yet. But I pay all my taxes and everything. Being a legal alien is hard work!!
2) I thought my business school was expensive… Looking back, even though I ended up paying back most of it at the worst of the Euro/Dollar exchange rate, I still got a bargain vs. US schools. OK, so the prestige is not exactly the same. But guess what, I am managing just fine! (And now student-loan free!)
3) I never really celebrated the 14th of July – what people in the US call Bastille Day – and most French don’t beside watching some fireworks. It’s nothing like the 4th of July in the US! We do not have patriotic cakes, flags and Old Navy shirts with the French flags on them for the whole fam’! [For the record: don't look for the Bastille if you set foot in Paris. It happens to be the most famous monument that actually no longer exists!]
4) I had never heard of Dave Matthews Band or Sarah Maclachlan. No lies. And that probably many more hot artists, I don’t remember that I did not know them, I take them for granted now!
5) Oh and I did not know that country music had dedicated TV channels and music awards (yep, not just one, but 2 country music awards… WTF?)
6) Oh, one more on the music theme: Christian music? Had never heard of that — outside the religious hymns inside a church. No, in the US Christian music is a genre that resembles pop music only celebrating Jesus’ love, etc. But the best albums are sold through infomercial as far as I can tell! (If you don’t know what an infomercial is… I will write a post about that, leave a comment!)
7) I had never eaten warm corn. In France we only eat it cold, usually in salads. And most French have never had corn on the cob — I did a long time ago, but that’s only because I was raised on a farm!
8 ) I had never tailgated, but you probably knew that since I’ve said it before.
9) I did not know “standard” paper size (as in, what you feed your printer for example) is NOT the same standard in the US as it is in Europe. US calls their paper “Letter” (8-1/2 x 11 inches); Europe (and possibly the rest of the world actually?) uses A4, also fondly called 21 x 29.7 (in cm)
OK, that’s all I have for tonight. Surely there is more, look for part 4 soon!
But only if you enjoyed this one!?