Different habits in France
Toasting makes many non-French people sweat cold. It must be said that the rules are many, and sometimes difficult to understand. You don’t drink until you have a toast (this particular point causes British rage – WHAT? Wait until everyone has a drink before attacking their pint?), you have to look at the person with whom you are drinking in the eyes (otherwise, you know the curse!), don’t cross paths, and of course, drink with everyone present. So, 20 minutes after you start drinking, you can finally drink, yay!
Time spent at the table
In France, the time we can spend at the table can seem very long for strangers, during our big meals (Christmas, the birthday of a family member) meals can last up to 4 hours. There is a time for each part of the meal, the aperitif, the starter (often several), the main course, the cheese, the desert, the digestive. I remember that during these meals, we learn about our families, parents and grandparents tell us about their stories. It is really a special moment that is very appreciated.
Being late is classy!
During an appointment, it is customary to arrive late: do you know about the 15 minutes of politeness? It is totally stupid to make people wait for their “date” and yet it has become common practice. Can someone explain this to me? I won’t be able to find a real explanation, maybe to appear overwhelmed, afraid to wait or surely, just to have a bad organization. But it just concerns appointments with friends, in general, the schedules for meetings are respected, at least in what I have been able to experience.
The French kiss
When foreigners arrive in France, they are usually warmly welcomed. But sometimes a little too warm for their taste! Because if there’s anything that disturbs them, it’s… the kiss.
While in Ireland, Germany or the United States, the “hug” is the most common way to say hello, in France, we don’t see things the same way. For us, the “hug” is something much more intimate and it often makes us uncomfortable when a person we have just met hugs us.
How to kiss?
The French, therefore, prefer a kiss. But how do you kiss?
Don’t worry, even between French people, we often get lost. Because it depends on the regions and sometimes even the cities where you are located but generally, it will be two.