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20 Things the French Probably Think are Crazy about Americans

After visiting Paris, I was pretty blown away by how differently they do some things there. Of course, as an American, there were things I thought were crazy about France. But I decided to put myself in their shoes…

 

Someone bags your groceries for you

 

In France, you bag your own damn groceries. Lazy Americans. At least we have someone to blame if our eggs crack and spill all over our groceries.

 

We eat hamburgers and pizza with our hands

 

Yes, they occasionally eat hamburgers in France. And yes, they eat them with forks and knives. (Maybe it was just the people sitting at the table next to me, but I witnessed this myself).

 

You can get a candy bar at the pharmacy

 

The only thing you can get at a French pharmacy is, well, pharmaceuticals. The closest thing you get to candy is cough drops. Meanwhile, Walgreens is stocked with everything from peanut butter snickers to hair dye products.

 

You have to do math at restaurants

 

That’s right. The tip isn’t included in America like it is in France. Have fun doing math after every meal. It’s even more fun when there’s a bunch of people and you have to figure out how split the tip. Now you can finally use those math skills you spent all those years learning.

 

Grocery stores are hUGE

 

Here in America, you can find everything you need in just one store. I mean look at Target–you can shop for groceries, furniture, and video games all in one go. In France, the grocery stores are very small and have a lot more fresh produce. Bread is almost never packaged and is freshly baked daily. All of their frozen goods are made from fresh ingredients.

 

Bathrooms are hUGE

 

I actually really appreciated American bathrooms after coming back home, if I’m gonna be honest. Most French ones don’t even have a place to hang your coat or put your stuff, which definitely threw me off.

 

Food portions are hUGE

 

Which is why we take food home (and they don’t). Hey, might as well get two meals for your money instead of just one. (And no, the food is not any cheaper in France.)

 

Coffees are hUGE (and taken to go)

 

Expresso is just about all they drink, and the cups are teeny-tiny. Coffee in France is meant to be savored with a pastry at a nice cafe. You’ll never see anyone walking around with coffee in Europe. Meanwhile, in America, we’re carrying around double mocha hazelnut drizzle coconut infused extra whipped cream soy milk Venti iced lattes.

 

Cars are hUGE (and fancy)

 

I realized that in France no one has Mercedes or convertibles or any other kind of fancy car. Like no one. Guess it’s just an American thing. Almost all of their cars were made in France. They don’t have imported cars like we do. Also the cars are a lot smaller, and most of them look like older models.

 

Houses are hUGE

 

The houses aren’t even that big in the French suburbs.

 

Everything is hUGE

 

Or maybe everything in France is small.

 

Kids menus

 

French kids got it gooooood. They only order from the normal menu, so their palate is probably more sophisticated than chicken fingers, mac and cheese, and PB&J (not that chicken fingers, mac and cheese, and PB&J aren’t delicious staples of life). No wonder the French are so particular about their food.

 

“Water” actually means “half ice”

 

So is pretty much any cold drink you order. Cold water is exclusively an American thing, apparently. So is the waiter coming up to your table to refill your water for you. In Europe, you fill up your own water.

 

We wear flip-flops and sweatpants outside the house

 

You won’t catch a Parisian dead in sweatpants (even just to like, go outside to check the mail or something).

 

Our shower heads are stuck to the wall

 

Okay, but it’s kind of difficult to scrub with one hand and hold the shower head in the other.

 

“French” fries, “french” toast, and “french” braids

 

The French are probably thrown off by us throwing the word “French” in front of random things that have nothing to do with France (and no, the “French bread” you get in a package at the grocery store is not really French.)

 

Everyone keeps asking how I am!! I’m fine!

 

In America, asking “how are you” is just an opening to conversation, even a greeting. They don’t actually care how you are doing. If you ask people this in France, they’ll kinda look at you weird.

 

Peanut Butter

 

Despite being the “culinary capital of the world” peanut butter is just flat out not a thing in France. That’s right–no Reese’s. They’ve got Kinder though!

 

Commercials every five minutes

 

In France you can watch a whole movie without any commercials on TV! (It sounds great but if you go to France I hope you’re out seeing things, not watching movies, but who am I to judge?)

 

Buildings blowing up their air conditioning

 

Many businesses do this as a show of wealth: “Look at how much money we can afford to spend on air conditioning”. Definitely an American thing. Tell your friend from France they better bring a winter coat for the summer…

 

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