I been in France for over a month and a half and I should admit France is totally adorable.

The ambience is soo beautiful that you fall in love the first sight.

Though, it’s difficult to navigate around city with my poor french, the people are welcoming and try to communicate even if they speak very little English.

As you know, I’m living near the City Center of a town called Aix-en-Provence.

The narrow old french style streets with modern branded stores, the authentic farmers market in the morning with all fresh produce, the church bell that wakes me up every day, random men playing music in the streets, the fresh smell of baked bread in the morning, watching french weddings , my Amorino gelato store, the  beautiful/smart french class mates, the English my teachers speak with the french accent, each and everything adds beauty to my french experience.

I totally will never regret my decision coming to study in this beautiful country.

I may love you dear France but there are some things I find crazy about you.  This is what I call as “Cultural Shock”

  1. Air conditioning.
  2. Note Books
  3. The Kiss
  4. Nouns
  5. Sundays
  6. Restaurants

1. Air Condition

I understand that it might not be necessary in Fall but there are days where it’s hot and we cannot be indoors without an A/C. That’s France

Our graduate school does not have A/C as well.

The classes are so hot and there is no enough ventilation and most of the time we are begging for some fresh air.

I have to mention that the buses don’t have A/C either.

There is A/C but our kind driver does not turn it on. It’s so much fun to travel with nearly 50 students in that small bus with no A/C.

After living in U.S.A. your expectation and way of life changes. Air Condition and Heating is one such thing.

But, weather is cooler now and things are better.

 2. Note Books – French Ruling ( or Seyes Ruling )

Seyes Ruling France Notebook

Why is it so complicated? Where do I find the space to write in French Note Books.  All I see are just lines all over the page.

Thanks for being so kind to me dear France, I finally found one regular note book among some 100 abnormal ones after searching in so many stores.

After bit of research, I found out some interesting information about this these lines.

Notebooks in France are called French Ruling ( or Seyes ruling).

In France, in order to foster handwriting discipline, a type of ruling known as Seyès ruling is used on paper in schools. Heavy horizontal lines are printed 8 mm (appx. 5/16 in) apart, with three lighter lines 2 mm (appx. 5/64 in) apart between each pair of heavy lines. Heavy vertical lines are spaced 8 mm (appx. 5/16 in) apart, beginning 16 mm (appx. 5/8 in) from the left-hand edge of the page. (Wiki)

Watch the following video to learn about French Ruling ( or Seyes Ruling) to see what I’m talking about

Interesting right?

3. The French Kiss

Let me put it this way – Who doesn’t like to Kiss 🙂

The way French people Kiss is nothing but cute. (Raghu,  take a note of this)

I’m not talking about the “French Kiss”.

Portrait of young nerd with kiss imprints isolated on grunge background.

I’m talking about how “People in France Kiss – The Social Kiss.

Women kissing women is cute.

Men kissing women is cuter.

But, Men kissing men, I find it very wired and funny.

Hey! I got used to it now after a month.

Well, watch this informative video to learn about Social kisisng in France that spread all over the world.

 4. Masculine or Feminine Nouns

I know only two languages –  Tamil  and English.

I have lived only in two countries – India and U.S.A. I’m learning French now.

For me, to have gender for nouns were too funny and the article before the noun take different forms according to the gender.

So complicated!

My french teacher tells me there’s no specific way to remember them, I just have to learn them.

For example:

  • The  boat is male
  • The building is male
  • Mouth is female
  • Kitchen is female
  • Butter is male
  • Garden is male
  • Apple is female but the grape fruit is male.

It’s funny but interesting.

5. It’s Sunday!

Been living in India and the US, I have never seen a town completely shut down on a Sunday. Almost all  the grocery stores, pharmacy stores, some attractions, some restaurants, everything shuts down in France on a Sunday.

In the US we are used to 24 hours grocery store and the only restaurant that I know of that is closed sunday is Chick-fi-a chain and the only time when a grocery store is closed is for Christmas and New Year eve.

In the US, Sunday is the day where we do major grocery shopping and be prepared for the week ahead. When I ask my French classmate about it, she goes, “Madhu, get used to living in France.

 6. The Restaurantsresturants in france


Dinning in a restaurant is a big deal in France.

Please don’t go the restaurant to just eat. French people spend like 2-3 hours in the restaurant just talking and relaxing while they eat their food.

When we went to this authentic french restaurant, we spend a whole 3 hours.

If your hungry, you should never go to a restaurant because by the time you get your food you will pass out.

Also they don’t tip in France. The waiters don’t even care to fill your water cups. Forget about refilling your water or checking on you.

There was a time when I was served water 30 minutes after dinning. It’s just how it is in France.

Also,  they don’t split your cheques when you go in a group. One person pays or you pay in cash. But, restaurants are very authentic, I don’t find any chains here.  Unlike the US, where every street has a Walmart and every other has a McD.


There can be so many things that I think it’s crazy about living in France, but I love being here, I’m glad that I took the right decision and above all   I love this craziness 🙂

Disclaimer : I live in Aix, in the south of France. My observations is mostly about the place that I live in. It may/may not apply to the whole country

Question to You

Have you observed any such craziness while studying abroad?

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