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Published: September 7th 2017
Geo: 46.2741, -119.274
Well, I thought I'd write a few observations that we noticed while in France. Really not any big, glaring, huge differences since we're all human beings living on the same planet :-)... just interesting sometimes slight differences.
THEY LOVE DOGS!! this is coming from a non-animal person that does, and has had animals. Interesting to see them take them into the stores and carry them on the metro take them to the park to play.... which leads to... they don't always clean up after them when they do their business on the street. I had heard conflicting reports before we left on this one and I didn't find that it was all over the place, but it wasn't that unusual to need to look where you walked... (our walking tour guide mentioned that there are 600 people hospitalized a year because of slipping on this "stuff" and that's only the reported incidents for injuries... he also mentioned a tonnage amt. that I don't remember, I didn't see that much!)
SCARVES, they are big there, I'm not sure I saw many French women without one on. They tie them different ways also, not just a single "uniform" look...
Pointy dress shoes for the guys... o.k. I've been told this has been around for a while but out here in Eastern Washington, it hasn't hit us yet and quite frankly probably never will. So this was unusual for me to see.
You always say "hello" and "goodbye" during every transaction and when you enter a store. I really came to like this aspect of their culture and you felt when it was your turn for help that you had their undivided attention. It was a bit jarring when I came back to not have service workers look me in the eye and say little common courtesies like that. We could perhaps borrow something here....
Gas, $10 a gallon, our future if we don't do something like drill somewhere.......seems a bit common sensical :-) hey if RS can propagandize so can I...
Hard to find restrooms unless you are in a museum or want to buy a 4,50 euro hot chocolate like I did one time....just to use the facilities.... only saw a couple of the self-contained toilette's on the street, they're free now and we didn't feel adventurous enough to try one....
Shared, co-ed bathrooms, about 1/2 the time, really not too bad, just not used to it...
Not real big on giving receipts, a big change from Italy last year where it's the law to give, get and keep your receipt. If asked for one they happily gave it to you though.
DON'T touch the fruit! they usually want to pick and give it to you if it's from a sidewalk vendor. Though maybe when they know you they are a bit more relaxed about this. We kept visiting one we liked and after a couple of days, we were allowed to make ourselves at home, nice...
Very friendly and helpful!! we had done our "homework" on how to get around, etc.. but still needed some help when dropped off in the middle of nowhere, ex: Monte Cristo :-), everyone was more than kind to us... I have to give God the credit for this as He provided someone every step of the way when we needed some guidance! Wonderful to know we are never alone!!
Didn't see screens on windows and you need to open the windows, it's kind of muggy there, but we didn't have any bug problems because of the lack of screens. Maybe they spray?
Graffiti not a problem in the tourist areas we were in, lots more in Italy last year.
Not as many scooters by a long shot compared to Rome! I did see a few motorcycles take advantage of clear sidewalks though.... a bit unusual for me.... :-)
Street cleaners and construction workers like to start work early!! don't even think about sleeping late if your area is scheduled for the above ...
I really enjoyed my trip and it's so cool meeting new people and "seeing the history" for yourself! things you only read about in books you can actually go and see in person. Definitely worthwhile to make the effort to go and experience for yourself!
Thanks for taking the time to "go with" me on my journey, I know if I didn't write this down, in a couple of days when asked about my trip all I would be able to remember would be a pleasant impression (that's my brain right now!). So now I can refer to my daily accounts and relive it anytime ;-)
I'll try to add some pictures to this in the next few days when I get some "technical" help!
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