21 Disadvantages of Being American in France

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As thrilling as it is to be an American in France (the food! the wine! the culture! the wine! the cheese! the wine!) there are definitely a few areas in which you’re a little out of your wheelhouse.

1. You look like a slob for eating with your fingers


2. French people think you’re crazy because you smile all the time

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3. Due to the low decibel at which French people speak, you miss half the conversation

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4. You don’t understand why people are so excited about a football that’s not a football

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5. You are alone in your enthusiasm for your sports team (and your appreciation of what’s happening here)

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6. You’re so lost in the super market, especially at that fruit and veggie scale

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7. Pronouncing American English words with an French accent is counterintuitive (It’s “broonch,” not “brunch”)

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8. Perpetually feeling overwhelmed by the wine

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9. And the cheese

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10. You have to do math to figure out the temperature

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11.Faire la bise” gives you intense anxiety

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12. You look like an idiot when you don’t know the answer to a question about the US

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13. Explaining why the US has Trump (and bad healthcare, and denies climate change) is your responsibility

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14. You must learn to hold back the urge to cough at smokers

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15. The absence of themed events leaves you feeling underwhelmed. (What are you supposed to do with your American flag shirt, ugly holiday sweater, and Halloween headband?)

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16. You get weird looks because you like to eat while you walk and take coffee to go

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17. All you want is ice and there isn’t any

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18. No matter how long you’ve been in France, you still aren’t sure whether or not to tip

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19. You don’t understand the French bureaucracy AT ALL

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20. You don’t want to look like a tourist, so you stop wearing shorts, yoga pants, and sweatshirts, and start wearing pants and scarves. (“Skies out, thighs out” does not apply in France.)

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21. You spend all your money buying expensive American imports like peanut butter and FruitLoops because damn do you miss the US.

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Want more? Check out 31 Things Every Study Abroad Student in France Experiences, and 17 Things All People Who Miss France Do.

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