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Let’s talk about some American habits I’ve lost after moving to France. Part of respecting a new culture is adapting to it and over time I’ve taken on some French habits. This France versus USA comparison video covers small talk, hugging, air conditioning and more so let’s get into some French culture fun and what it’s like living abroad in France.


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Salut! I’m Diane, the American behind the living abroad lifestyle blog Oui In France. My channel’s focus is “Everyday French life and beyond,” so let me know what you want to see! I make videos on French culture topics, food, travel, language, and give you my thoughts about what it’s like living in France as an American in the Loire Valley. Thanks for being here and if you enjoy this sort of thing, please share with friends and subscribe!

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  1. I have the same approach to dressing in public and eating meals as French. I usually make and drink my coffee at home. I'd fit in with regards to these, but no small talk would take some getting used to.

  2. I am American, my house doesn’t have air conditioning, not all American homes have air conditioning. What is it like to shop at Picard?

  3. I'm french and the overly enthousiastic behaviours are soooo confusing and kind of scary to me i try to remember that it's coming from different culture standards but i also think that there's so much TOXICITY in positivity when it's not genuine but considered as a basic way of (re)acting

  4. on the egg thing, they do not wash the eggs in France which leaves a dry coating on the eggs keeping them mostly air tight. In NA we wash the eggs and thus need to be refrigerated – but tbh that's just to stop salmonella, so if youre cooking stuff it doesn't really matter.

  5. This sounds like someone trying to justify an abusive relationship 😂 "he doesn't let me grab coffee on the go, he needs me always dressed up, he doesn't smile and has never hugged me" ..
    … honestly though adapting to the culture is fun. Its like playing a European version of yourself 10/10 recommend

  6. I use get so annoyed when the eg, cashier has a lengthy conversation with a known customer while the line is getting longer. Sadly, I’ve become one of them since I’ve lived in the same neighborhood for 13-years.

  7. Please don't take me wrong, Americans have nice things about them, but I hate that fake overenthusiastic smile. I could puke every time I witnessed it.

  8. I'm Portuguese and I've lived in Paris (Sceaux) since 2012, I don't understand them and I've stopped trying. I'm the kind of person who doesn't give a damn (live and let live is more than a catchphrase for me), but… Ignoring them and doing things my way works great and I never ever hide back my position in any type of question, sometimes they don't like it, but in time they respect me more than the ones that go out of their way to please them. 

    Institutional things, Bank (bank checks, here are an example of everything archaic to me in France… They still use them!!!), Hospitals, Taxes… and… If not in writing, don't count!!! Always, but always use registered letters when dealing with any institution.

    I will leave a story that happened to me. Two years after I was here I went to Tax Office to try to pay my taxes monthly instead of once a year. "Of course it was impossible!!! That I have to make the request in the first half of October!!!!" A lady heard me ask the person at the service desk if she spoke Portuguese or English after I used my shitty french because of the "no" to my question from the person at the service desk, the lady I mention approached and told me in English for me to accompany her to her office. Once we seated, she told me that her retired mother-in-law had moved to Portugal and that the Portuguese were doing everything they could to accommodate her mother-in-law's limitations, and how amazed she was with our kindness … Ten minutes later, I had all tax matters handled and the phone line to her office if I needed anything some other time. So… is always a case-by-case situation and not the rules in France.

    By the way… the eggs are not a France thing ( the protection that makes that possible) but EU regulations.

  9. Before AC arrived in Toronto people kept all of their doors open and sat on their porches while their kids played together on the street. Now? Someone would call social services and the police if they saw such menacing endangerment.

  10. I lived in Germany for 10 years, prior to moving to the USA. The Germans are extremely formal, the US, not so much.

    The amusing thing I found was acting as a translator. In German the language changes based on the situation, I would never allow a younger person to call me Du (informal you), but insist they call me Sie (formal you). In English I would introduce myself as Peter, in Germany it’s Herr (Mr.) King.

    In Germany you’ll rarely hear swear words, instead they will just lay in to you. Instead calling you an incompetent idiot, know nothing, waste of space…… I pointed out my FiL coworker’s mistake to my FiL, he immediately lost all respect in the company, and immediately his promotion chances evaporated.

  11. France sounds awful. Sometimes the smiles down the street can make someone's day when they are feeling down. Although covid has made it acceptable to be mean to people for some reason.

  12. Being European living in Canada for 30 +years – I totally relate to A LOT of this. I'm still way more Euro than North American :p

  13. Interesting. As a very typical Englishwoman I can relate so many things here. The reason for eggs not needing to be refrigerated is that in the USA the shells are washed in chlorine and in Europe they are left alone – but I think most of us put them in the fridge anyway and they can last for weeks. I think you would, surprisingly considering we mostly speak the same language, find things even more different in the UK than in France. We are suspicious of strangers approaching us with huge grins and open arms. We have less need for home air conditioning than France. Hugging had crept over the Atlantic to here pre-Pandemic but thankfully has retreated in its wake. Kissing is even worse. The further north in Europe you go, the bigger the personal space required. A hand shake has always been sufficient for me. It sounds as if you have enjoyed your time in France and brought the best of the USA to it and will take the best of France back to the USA.

  14. As an American, I see the cheek kisses way more intimate than a hug. I've had close friends do this to me and makes me feel extremely awkward.

  15. Hugging people as a way to say hello, is very, very odd. It's an intimate thing to do to someone you are not close, or just met. Nobody does that besides USA, I believe.

  16. Child of divorced parents ( French mother – American father) – I have literally lived half of my life in France – I sense ZERO differences between day-to-day life in either country. Maybe I am doubly-accustomed or something, but I see equal amounts of all the things you attribute to one culture or the other. It's always best to think of yourself as a human being – neither French nor American – and things suddenly seem seamless. Now, I am going to start looking for these things like a socio-hypochondriac.

  17. I used to live in Turkey where cheek kisses were the norm, but when I moved to Canada I noticed that it made people really awkward, here they do mostly hugs (or, used to do before the pandemic). Now I find it both equally uncomfortable, the less physical contact the better😂

  18. Americans think other countries are wired for doing things differently but actually the Americans are wired if you really think about it. Why would you hug someone if you don't know the person it will just make the person feel awkward. Why would you make small chats if you don't know the person and not sure if it's ok to do that. Maybe someone having bad day or grieving after loved one and just want to left alone and concentrate on things what need to be done. In other countries if the girl smile to a guy totally stranger and approached him she it's considered to be easy. Guys might take that the wrong way. Guys needs to work hard to get the girl attention and he should "chase " after the girl not the other way around

  19. I think everywhere not just in France people not walking outside wearing PJ or sweatpants or workout clothing

  20. But your video is over enthusiastic. It is exhausting to listen to you. Calm down and slow down. It would be more enjoyable to listen to you.

  21. Didn't a lot of elderly people die in France many years ago during a really hot summer when their families were on vacation? I understand that there might not be a NEED for air conditioning throughout France if the weather is never that hot but you make it seem like Americans have air conditioning just to have it when much of that is a function of the weather and cheaper energy costs.

  22. Sweatpants, dear lord. The amount of people in the US that you see walking about in freaking PJs is incredible to me. And how about all the women in workout clothes? Jesus, people get a clue.

  23. The fourth one is a real nightmare, and you never actually get used to it. There’s always something wrong or a missing paper (that was never asked for in the first place) in the file you submitted or a new unexpected delay in the process.
    "It’s a good day when France finally surprises you", I really felt that ♥️

  24. North America is the only place I know who refrigerate eggs.Yes Europeans enjoy commutation during meals,it is social, not simply functional.

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