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10 Weird Reverse Culture Shock Moments I Had in France

My Brand New Carte d’Électeur

Even though I haven’t lived in France in ten years and even though I’m registered as a “French abroad”, I still received a carte d’électeur at my parents’ address to vote for this year’s presidential election. So technically, I guess I can vote twice. Ahem… election fraud, anyone?

Packed Terrace

When on earth are the French working? Bars and cafés always seem packed during the day! And I still can’t believe people drink alcohol anytime during the daytime as well. It’s weird to see people go shopping for clothes with a can of beer in their hand.

Musician in the Street

There are a lot of panhandlers in the streets. The most persistent are the organised groups from Eastern Europe and the drunken punks with their dogs.

“Nuit” (Night in French)

Bars are supposed to close at 1 a.m. or 2 a.m., and technically, nightclubs close around 4 a.m. (it depends on the city). In Nantes, noise disturbance is a huge issue, as people start to party on Thursday and don’t stop until Sunday night. People seem to spend their nights getting drunk, shouting and yelling in the street, and there is no one to stop them.

Running After The Tramway

Even though the fare is getting expensive, I still love the tramway. Nantes has a pretty good public transportation system and riding the tramway is smooth and efficient. I know it won’t happen in Ottawa (I doubt the tracks could stand winter) but I wish we had a similar system over there!

Park in Nantes

French public parks look lame compared to the ones we have in Canada. They are usually hangouts for drunks and are pretty dirty. Not to mention that dogs poop everywhere here, and that people don’t clean after their pets.

Shoe Tossing

Shoe tossing is apparently now a thing in Nantes. Do they say “le shoe tossing” or “la shoe tossing?”

Chocolate Maker Shop in Nantes

Window shopping takes a whole different meaning here. Window displays, especially those from independent stores, are often elaborated and very pleasing aesthetically speaking.

Kebab in Nantes

French really love “kebabs” (shawarmas in Canada). There are just about everywhere!

I finally remembered this week that in France, unlike in Canada, the VAT is included in the price and that I could prepare my change beforehand.

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Zhu

French woman in English Canada.

Exploring the world with my camera since 1999, translating sentences for a living, writing stories that may or may not get attention.

Firm believer that nobody is normal... and it’s better this way.

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