Saturday, June 22, 2013

Signs You *May* Be Turning French

After several months of pondering, and at the insistent elbowing encouragement from my pal King Stu at Invading Holland, I present to you a list of signs which indicate that you *may* be turning French.

-Your stomach has survived one of those five-hour long French dinners and lived through the cheese course.

-You actually have hosted one of those infinite dinners yourself.

-The thought of skipping lunch is UNACCEPTABLE. Got work to do? Too bad. Your stomach comes first.

-You unconsciously eat said lunch in multiple courses: entrée, plat, fromage, dessert and le p'tit café for last.

-You have finally achieved that perfect, elusive dietary balance which allows you to eat creamy/stinky cheeses, buttery croissants, crusty baguettes, sumptuous foie gras, and to imbibe copious amounts of wine while NOT gaining weight.

-You know very well that the humble potato is bread's sworn enemy on being the country's food favorite.

-You have a favorite cheese, which is no small task considering how the country is known for producing over 400 different cheeses.

-Said favorite cheese will always find a place in your fridge, along with a glass of moutarde and an ever-present jar of cornichons.

-You scoff at Spanish tomatoes and strawberries. And pretty much every other produce that doesn't come from France and its overseas regions.

-Before agreeing to an outing with friends, you first consult with your "agenda" to make sure you are free and therefore won't inconvenience anyone with last-minute cancellations.

-And you take out a pen from your ever-present "trousse" to write down said date.

-You make it a habit to carry several passport-sized photographs with you for identification and paperwork purposes.

-You always keep an ever-so-handy RIB (relevé d'identité bancaire) in your wallet for whenever you need to hand your bank account information over to a complete, but authoritative, stranger.

-When completing a file, it no longer surprises you when you are asked to provide more documents and photocopies than was previously required.

-Nor will you raise eyebrows to make photocopies of documents you could have sworn had already been provided.

-Seriously. You won't even bat an eye when hearing that the minimum delay for ANY legal documentation will take at least six weeks.

-You no longer break into cold sweats whenever you hear the SNCF's doon-DOON-doonoo chime in the train station over the worry that your train was delayed/cancelled/mysteriously abducted by aliens*.


-You start to consider that any place that takes more than a three-hour drive is "far."

-You often opt to take a vacation within the country as opposed to travelling abroad because you reason that France's beauty is unparalleled and it is therefore pointless to go elsewhere**.

Nope. Not even Sherlock Holmes in the London Underground could surpass the wonders of France. 

-It's perfectly acceptable to have furniture that you would never have considered owning before, such as a combination bookcase/booze cabinet.


-You no longer giggle whenever you see a bidet.

-You actually get mildly peeved whenever you see a bathroom that has a toilet in it, instead of seeing the porcelain throne in a separate water closet.

-You have willingly used the dreaded "toilettes turques", a.k.a. the "WTF toilet," on more than one occasion.

-You once hated how French windows blocked all sources of light with the "volets." Now, you can't imagine life without shutters, particularly during those long summer days that start at 5 a.m.

-You've been lucky enough to go to a French wedding and managed to party for most of the night.

The lovely bride is my friend Emily.  The pink thing on my head is a fascinator.  
-You actually know someone who plays the accordion.

-You know very well that mentioning the Mont St Michel to someone from Brittany is a big no-no.

-You manage to find something to do on Sundays.

*When my mother came to visit me last year for Christmas, our train to head back to Paris was delayed, THEN cancelled. According to the SNCF message (which was preceded by the chime), this "inconvenience" was due to an "incident de personne" which happened to someone;"incident de personne" is often code for "suicide."

And I had purchased First Class tickets, too. Harrumph.

**New York City is the apparent exception.


  1. It seems a lot of these are to do with food and wine. I think these may be signs you're living a French stereotype. But then again things are stereotypes for a reason and a lot of French people probably do live the stereotype. A lot of English and Scots do. Not sure about the Welsh as the main one there is that they all shag sheep.

  2. I've heard of those legendary French meals. I have a friend who has French friends, and she always mentions how the French eat very, very, very slowly.

    I kinda like the idea of 5 hour meals though. Just eating and talking for 5 hours, please count me in. The only thing better than eating and talking for 5 hours is sleeping.

  3. Hhhmmm... I think there is a small chance I might be turning French too.


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