Things I've Learned About America from Living in France
That's the beauty of cultural perspective. It's so different, yet really the same when you peel off the superficial layers. A culture is its false "universally accepted" truths, its mores and habits, its commercially produced products, its humor, its pain, its pride, and its tradition. I think it's great that each country is weird in its own way. That's what makes travel so exciting. You learn about a new culture's weirdness and in turn your eyes are opened to the craziness of your own. And it is all beautiful.
So without further ado, Things I've Learned About America from Living in France :
1. We waste a lot of time with false weight loss myths. Its just genetics - No matter what I eat I'll always be fat. Eating after 6 pm will make you fat. Eating carbs will make you fat. Eating a sugary breakfast will make you fat. Eating cheese will make you fat.
French people do all of this, and France is a country of immigrants (thus x-ing out the purely genetic theory). Yet according to Forbes ranking of the World's Fattest Countries America is the world's 9th fattest country. France is 128th.
The truth is that eating more calories than you burn will make you gain weight.
Plain and simple. Anything fancier (certain health conditions aside) is just an excuse.
2. Benjamin Franklin did not discover electricity. Not even close.
Now go ahead and type "Franklin discovered electricity" into Google and you'll find thousands of articles and even official historical website selling the same tall tale as truth. This is because Franklin apparently wrote an article for a newspaper about his experiment back in the day (some sources say he wrote it, others say it was a friend of his). But Franklin was clearly no George Washington (legend has it he never told a lie).
3. A clothes dryer is not a necessity.
4. Americans are super efficient. Things tend to be instantaneous. We want and expect it now. This is something that's hard to visualize if you don't ever leave America. *Example: I started the paperwork for my French social security card in September. It is now February and there's no sign that it's coming any time soon - but I know I will get it eventually. Americans want things faster and cheaper. The quicker the better. The more the merrier. Sometimes I really miss this. And sometimes I wonder if it's the reason people spend less time with their family, bosses don't care if a job deprives the employee of a personal life (as long as they get their results), and so many Americans are on antidepressants. We've become robots.
5. Hulu, Taco Bell, and Victoria's Secret are awesome. I miss them! So far I've figured out how to access Hulu from France. But it doesn't look like Taco Bell or Victoria's secret will be coming here anytime soon.
6. American food is really over-processed. Do you know what you're really eating? Often most the ingredients listed on food products are impossible to pronounce. That's really gross. Though I still love Cheetos, no matter what they put in those suckers.
7. American news stations are really self-centered. There is a lot going on in the world and Americans are largely uniformed. There was a really important presidential election in France last year. Do you know who the French president is? If not, don't feel bad. A French reporter went to America to interview international American journalists and they had no idea either.
It's François Hollande and he's a socialist. Now you know. :)
8. Americans are obsessed with their teeth. The French think that dental floss is weird and my husband thinks we invest way too much time and money into our teeth. I'm not able to objectively comment because I'm the kind of person who brushes after every meal and flosses every single day. I'm kind of grossed out when I find out someone doesn't floss. I should have been a dentist.
So what do you think? Have something to add to the list? Is there anything don't agree with here or anything that surprised you? Sound off in the comments!