First Taste of la France


Howdy from another country!

As most of you know, I am studying abroad in France for the fall semester. This means I am taking a break from blogging about LALAland and New Zealand (because I didn’t go home this summer which obviously means I didn’t do anything there) and going to be focusing mainly on Paris (where I will be based for the next few months) and periodically on other parts of France and Europe.

So first things first, let me blog about Montesson where I am studying for the next few days before I jet off to Italy with my dad to go see some awesome stuff.

I’m staying with my aunt and uncle (dad’s cousin really, but it’s just too complicated to call him that) in Montesson. It is a little commune (not as big as a town, probably the size of a smallish village, but they call it a commune; there are many in France) which means it has the basics and everything is very small. Here are a few pictures of the “town centre” which is just a few (one) street.

There is a church here.

A Hôtel de Ville which is the town hall. Very small really not much inside.

Next we have the local boulangerie et pâtisserie (bakery and pastry shop). Everything is closed at the moment because it’s August which means EVERYBODY is on vacation. Inconceivable in the US. But it’s the case that nothing is open and the whole town is dead because everybody is out of there enjoying the warm weather somewhere exotic.

I managed to find some cool looking houses and buildings. I like the architecture here.

And lastly 2 interesting things to me. The roads are SO SO SO narrow that people are practically missing each other by 1 cm/half an inch on the road. I saw a huge truck try to pass a car on a road it shouldn’t’ve been on in the first place. This is how close the cars got, I don’t even think they driver believed it could squeeze through. But he tried anyway and thankfully he did it. I wonder, do they ever scratch each other’s car? Guess they all have insurance for a reason.

And interestingly enough, while there are some expensive and nice cars, most French will drive a small car, usually a hatchback because it consumes little petrol (gas [US] or l’essence [if we’re really going to be French about it]), can drive on these small roads and is easy to park. The cars are almost always manual (stickshift [US]) and they look very much the same. There’s  no real personalising or “I feel like I need to buy a huge car to reinforce my own identity because I’m too insecure to drive a smaller car” thing here. Or maybe they’re just better drivers in general in Europe.Who knows, but it was kind of refreshing regardless to see a row of cars that look practically identical.

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8 thoughts on “First Taste of la France

  1. Wow, establishments close for vacation? My first reaction was that it must suck to be a consumer… but then I thought about it and I’ve just been living in a country whose main focus is to make money. One point for Europe for realizing that enjoying life is important.

    • That’s very true. The French get 6 weeks of vacation; 4 they use during summer. Everything is closed so ppl can go out and have fun. It’s a nice system except it leaves tourists stranded. But guess that’s not the worst thing ever.

  2. I’m sp glad you decided to go to Italy! It’s beautiful 🙂
    Also I love how I don’t need the ([US]) parts of the blog to understand what you’re trying to say, and that you used the correct spelling of centre.

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