Thoughts on France after a whirlwind few months

There hasn’t been much to shout out about over the last couple of weeks; hence the lack of exciting, enticing script for you to gorge your reading minds and eyes on. I thought I would scribble down a couple of things though, notably what I have learned as a foreigner in a infamously beautiful worldwide location.

What I did know

  • High standard of living: They’re not kidding when it’s a billionaire’s playground. The yachts symbolise what you’re likely to expect and prices certainly aren’t comparable to three treble vodkas for £5 like in Newcastle.
  • The French are ignorant, rude, arrogant and miserable” – A general stereotype you often here and in some parts true. Gladly correct me if I’m wrong but the older generation seems very pro-French and without an excellent understanding of the French language or culture, you are likely to be looked down upon.
  • The French do the best wine, bread and cheese – Hard for me to comment on the cheese but the wine is bloody good and inexpensive. Also haven’t had a bad baguette yet, so pretty sure they mastered that down in the French boulangerie’s
  • The French language is a bitch – It was a bitch before I got here, It’s been a bitch whilst I’m here and will be a bitch when I’m gone. Sort your grammar out PLEASE! I’d definitely suggest lessons and learning from a singular person to grasp it, especially as every French person’s accent differentiates.
  • Nice is beautiful – Similarly to above; It was beautiful before I got here, beautiful whilst I’m here and will be beautiful when I’m gone.

What I’ve learned

  • It’s possible to save money here: Surprising as it may be, I’ve saved money.. and quite a sum, all whilst eating well and doing activities I wanted to do! Be wise with your purchases, spend the extra time getting to the bigger supermarkets, utilise the outrageously cheap public transport (I was shocked when a train to Paris wasn’t €1.50 like everything else!) and find shared accommodation where possible. We’ve just moved into our final flat for the month of September, in the heart of old town and we’re paying just €500 for a flat that has a kitchen bigger than most studios for €700 by the train station!  … Oh, drink wine too!
  • Not all French people fit the stereotype – Very true! Understanding the culture and showing an impulse to learn the language is strongly advised, like in all countries. Our recent flat has seen us grouped with the most hospitable and friendly people we’ve arguably met along our travels. I always stick to core principles of being as friendly as possible, where possible and it turns out some people out there are similar. Shocking, I know! It isn’t uncommon to see beret wearing cadettes and locals under-arming a baguette.
  • Go to Italy for wine! – Yes, all the locals suggest that neighbouring Italy is the real plethora of wine brilliance. Also, head to Italy for cheaper souvenirs, cheese and well, pretty much everything!
  • Nice is sadly, deep down, a tourist trap – Yes, as painful as it is for me to say, it really is. Even local dishes like Socca is commonly colloqusalised for other pallets and you have to search for authenticity in other places. If you want a truly French feel on the Riviera, it may be quite difficult to ascertain. Don’t let that put you off though, the whole coast is stunning, which I may have mentioned once or twice this summer.

 

There’s surely other stuff that I’ve learned and forgot about but on a quick jot down, this is what I got.

 

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