the world according to the frankreich: don’t take it personally

If you are going to live in Paris for more than a few weeks and are wondering why Parisians sometimes seem like assholes, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Polly Platt’s “French or Foe?“. It explains, for instance:

– why French guys always sound like they’re arguing (they love to exercise their wits),

– or why you get lots of unsmiling eye contact on the street if you’re a well-dressed girl or guy (just appreciating the time you took to look good),

– or why you can get anything you want if you pour on the charm and the theatrics to everyone from the supermarket check-out clerk to the lady working at the French consulate (apparently French people just love to be entertained).

I brought the book with me to Paris but hadn’t read it in its entirety until last week. Wish I’d read it earlier. :P Granted it’s written by a woman of a “certain age” so it’s got some of the scoop on French manners that people who weren’t born before 1970 don’t really use anymore (unless they’re old money or politicians). But at least now I know what to do if I’m ever invited to a formal dinner party at the American Embassy…


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This is a blog of things place-related, by a cash-strapped Stanford grad who's lived in various places and writes about life. She's currently looking for a job in Manhattan or the Bay Area.

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