The national characteristics of the French.
If you believe the tourist guides, the French only do that dressed in red vests with berets and eat baguettes, croissants, washed down with a chilled Bordeaux.
But really — what are they?
Instead of greeting, they immediately ask: “How are you?”
Standard dialogue of the French begins with an exchange of remarks: “Ça va? — Ça va!” In translation: “How are you? — All is well!” It’s a noncommittal phrase that replaces the usual greeting. No one takes seriously, so do not expect that in response to a question the interviewee to really talk about their lives. This is just a prelude to the conversation.
They have a trend of double kiss
Speaking of greetings, let us remember another tradition of the French: when meeting friends then kiss each other. A kiss on the cheek to greet each other and men and women — it’s called “faire la bise”. The number of kisses depends on the region. The most common double kiss, but in some places you can kiss on the cheek three or four times.
They drink water from the tap
Just because I can afford it: in France, a good water purification system. The quality of cleaning varies from region to region, but generally, the authorities are monitoring this, and the companies offering the most effective treatment methods that get tax breaks. The French themselves pay for this privilege a lot: on utilities you have to spend about €220 per month. But it is not necessary to spend money on bottled water. Therefore, in the French café is a free drink: you’ll bring a carafe of clean tap water.
They run during lunch
In most French offices, banks and public institutions lunch break lasts two hours, so that employees had time to eat. Among the French common tradition of long family dinners, and they try not to neglect it, even on weekdays, going home in the middle of the day. And followers of a healthy lifestyle enjoy a long lunch break to go for a jog.
Of course, with the advent of the digital era life and the pace of work has accelerated and in France: now for some quick lunch in front of the computer. But as long as they are in the minority.
They EN masse go on vacation
Home of the French the envy of many. They last 25 working days, i.e. five full weeks. And those employees, whose working week is 39 hours instead of the usual 35 (here, too, there is something to envy), get an extra days to rest. While going on vacation to the French in almost the entire country — usually in August. In the French city at this time, the real heat comes, and everyone tries to escape to the sea or someplace where it’s cooler. (Incidentally, very similar to Italy, about which we already wrote.) So, if you come to France in August, many stores and businesses you will encounter closed doors. Major retail chains are not affected.
It is worth adding that in 2016, the French Ministry of labour has developed a labor reform that threatened the comfortable holiday and the duration of the working day. In the protests against the reforms have involved millions of French people, accustomed to a convenient schedule.
They come to visit with your bottle of wine
If you are going to visit friends the French, bring a bottle of wine — you will not regret it. The hosts of the party can inform the guests that will be served on the table. So invited will be able to choose the right wine to the food (Yes, the French really know which dish a particular drink, and not convince them). You can still give them flowers, but better not to choose yellow: in France they represent infidelity.
They know how to wear clothes
Innate sense of style of the French is not a myth. Not to say that they wear trendy clothes. But it seems that they can make a stylish outfit from the most basic things that any other combination would look just boring. No British dandyism, there is no Spanish brightness. There is something else. The charm of negligence. French men often wear scarves and hats — it would seem, what’s the big deal? But once seen them: the French. The same with women. If you ask a French woman how to spice up the outfit, she’ll tell you: add the spirits, a little red lipstick and a smile. (This is confirmed by the Russo-French leading “My Planet” Cecile Pleasure, saying that “in France people do not need to know how you’re so beautiful came out of the house. In Moscow it is obvious, as you put curls like makeup… And French women do so that nobody sees their efforts”. The full interview is here.).
They don’t belong in bars
And not because they don’t fit through the door. Just in the French bars, as a rule, very little space. Bar counter, couple of tables — and fun-that everyone wants. Those who do not fit with our wine glasses to the curb. So Friday evening at the door of the French bars to attract crowds. People have fun talking, drinking wine and cocktails, sing. Oddly enough, street cool can make the conversation very warm.
For them cheese is not a snack
To cheese, the French are treated with incredible awe. What a French refrigerator nor open, there will be cheese necessarily, and will never know how it will taste: French cheesemakers produce nearly 400 varieties of cheese, and everyone is your fan. Cheese is not an appetizer, how can you allow such blasphemy? Cheese (or cheese) is a separate dish, to be served which is necessary before the desserts, preferably with fruit and nuts.
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