A Frenchwoman in London

If there is one thing that I have realised since moving to London – and perhaps it’s the same pretty much everywhere you move – is how much being French is a thing.

It can be funny and most of time you can use it to your own benefits, but after a while the novelty wears off and it does get boring.

Here are some of the most common things people talk to me about pretty much every day (well, at least twice a week; classic French exaggeration).

Accent

That accent, the one you don’t hear until you cross paths with other French people and realise how awful it is and you swear to God you won’t have the same as them anymore.

But in London, or I would say in England, the French accent is sometimes better than a sex toy, a business card or a good beer on a Friday night (exaggeration again, nothing will be better than a beer in England). People love our accent. You could be ugly, have a big spot in the middle of your face or hungover AF. Doesn’t matter, you will be still hot enough for them because you have this accent.

At work it helps me a lot when I meet people, you just have to introduce yourself and say whatever it is you want and will still always hear: “Oh, you’re French! I love your accent!” – OK, let’s be friends and let’s plan a collaboration then!” Easy-peezy, right?

Wine

Ask an English person what comes first when they think about French people and “wine” is top of the list. Which means you immediately become a wine expert, so you should probably do some tasting sessions if you want to gain some points during after work drinks, dinners or meetings.

If you don’t like wine and prefer beer, that’s fine, but you just lost a lot of interest. Sorry not sorry!

France

“What do you think about your country?”

Well, there are so many reasons why I moved to London and France is one of them. I still love my country and going there to see my family is always a pleasure, but I feel at home in London, not in France.

I’m impressed at how many French people I meet in London who have the same opinion as me. London makes me feel more “normal” than being in France. Bizarre, but at least people give me a reason everyday to stay here and build my life the way I want.

Cheese

Oh boy is this one. Especially in my case as I am vegan. It’s quite difficult to hear the now famous line “How do you live without cheese?? You’re French!” Well, I’m still alive. And lucky for me, if I am craving cheese, London is one of the most vegan friendly cities in the world! Whoop whoop!

However, as a good friend, employee and colleague, I always have a shopping list of what I need to bring back from France in terms of cheese. As I’m French I become the official cheese hunter, the qualified connoisseur, THE Big Cheese. Not sure I’m proud of that though…

Rudeness

This is a strong stereotype English people cling to. They think we lack manners when it comes to welcoming guests and apologising. But the thing they forget is politeness is different in every culture. French people are more direct in their approach and my colleagues still laugh at me even after over a year with them.

Since I’ve been here, I’ve tried to integrate British culture into my life but I’m still trying to deal with this “hugging” stuff everyone does. Weird… Or are French people just frigid?

 

I would be curious to know what other kinds of funny things you have heard or hear every day, since you moved to a foreign country?

Full love – Roxie

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