Friday, March 11, 2011

Fun French Facts: The Young, The Old and The Fluffy

♥ ♥From the interesting to the trivial to the the mundane to the hilarious, here's an ongoing list of things that I have come to learn or realize during my months spent in Lorraine, France. Come back next time for 3 more "Fun French Facts" (which was also nicknamed "F cubed"  by the lovely blogger, TRAIN STATION VAGABOND).♥♥

♥Fun France Facts, Volume IV:♥
The Young, The Old, and The Fluffy.

I am frequently asked by les français about the differences between the USA and France. Often, I draw a blank. I found the longer you live in a country, the more the lines start to be blurred. So, sometimes, to really compare the cultural differences, one must look back to the very first impressions: the things that hit you during the first few days in a new country. So, for this F-cubed edition, I'm going back to July 2009 in Paris to discuss my first impressions of France...

The Young:
So, I think French kids are the most adorable children ever, because, well, firstly, they speak French. In my head, I still expect little kids to speak English; so when they speak French (which they obviously do) I always am shocked, thinking to myself, "But...they speak--so--well." Dumb, I know, but hearing little kids speak French in addition to their incredibly fashionable attire makes me wanna pass out from a cuteness overload. Which leads me to my next point...French kids dress like adults. No smocked dresses made by grandma. No huge bows in the hair. Essentially, no embarrassing Easter-Sunday pictures. Nah, French kids have style to boot. This French desire to dress their kids in the most stylish clothes is evident from the numerous kid boutiques and chains such as Le Petit Bateau. Yet, the demand for tiny fashion is most exhibited through the magazine MiLK, a French magazine dedicated entirely to children's fashion or mode enfantine.
There is even a French Vogue for children. In fact, it gets a little too bizarre for my taste. For instance, click this link to see a creepy editorial. To be fair, it was controversial in France.
The Old:
Now, let's go to the opposite side of the age spectrum to reach my next point: I love people-watching the elderly in France. First of all, they've also got a lot of style and always seem to be doing something typically French: frequenting the boulangeries, buying baguettes, talking long walk through the parks, playing pétanque or staying in a cafe for hours. 
YET, even more so, I LOVE French old couples. They are always walking around together in town, hand-in-hand or are arm-in-arm. They are also usually really short too, making them even more cute. I feel like I giant next to them, and I'm only 5'6''. They're really. Adorable. French elderly couples make the ideal of growing old together really seem possible and something to strive for. When I pass these couples, I end up having a big-fat grin on my face, and a bright happiness then pumps through my veins.
The Fluffy:
Okay, I hope you're ready for this one...DOGS. MY GOODNESS, do French people love their dogs! They go with them everywhere...on the metro, in shops, in restaurants even. This, at first, really startled and disturbed me. Then I realized how amazingly well-trained and well behaved these dogs are. I don't know what the French do, but these pooches are the calmest and most obedient dogs I've ever seen. I can't tell you how many times I've seen an owner leave his/her dog outside a shop while they peruse inside. The dog just sits there, hanging out, watching the passerbys, patiently waiting...without a leash. Incredible! My guess is that all French people are Dog Whispers. Yet, unfortunately, the French shamelessly allow their dogs to "decorate" the streets. Consequently, my eyes are always focused on the pavement while walking, constantly dodging the disgusting canine presents left on the road. Boo-hoo, poo-poo.
Alors, c'est tout.
(All pictures except those from Milk and Vogue are from yanidel, a Parisian street photography site. I highly recommend looking at his other stuff).
P.S.--I am back from my legendary Scandinavia journey and will blog about it ASAP. Check back this weekend.
P.P.S.-- I just learned how to make the ♥ symbol and how to make collages with Picnik. So expect to see them everywhere.
P.P.P.S--I learned from reading Remember Me (of all books) that it's P.P.S. and not P.S.S. Let me also add that I took 7 years of Latin. Now let it sink in that it took a chick flick book to teach me this fact.

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