Photo: Ekaterina Pokrovsky/Shutterstock

10 Signs You've Been in France Too Long

by Jo Jackson Nov 24, 2014
1. You now consider Fanny to be a perfectly normal first name.

It threw you the first hundred times, but you don’t even bat an eyelid now.

2. You’ve started saying stuff like, “I totally hallucinated when that woman slapped her boyfriend on the tram.”

Franglais, when spoken with bilingual friends, can be a magical, highly flexible experience…but then you try telling someone back home that you “explosed” your toe on the door stop and you realize the definition of bilingualism should be “the ability to speak two languages imperfectly”.

3. You’ve come to realize that, contrary to popular belief, a thick French accent isn’t sexy at all.

Who am I to say what is and isn’t sexy? But seriously, spend enough time in France and all the mystique wears off. All of it.

4. QWERTY? Hellz to the no. AZERTY all the way.

And even if it makes no sense that you have to hit shift to access a full stop — literally one of the most used punctuation marks ever — you would never go back.

5. You don’t say “It’s better this way, isn’t it?” you say, “It’s better this way, no?”

And the crazy thing is, you’re not even sure if you can hear which one is right anymore.

6. You roll your eyes whenever hip hop artists pronounce it “Louboutin” instead of Louis Vuitton.

Yes, Iggy Azalea, I’m looking at you.

7. You’ve forgotten that it’s actually a luxury to have access to the kind of produce you buy every week.

There are places on Earth where a loaf of bread is just a rectangular block of spongy stodge chopped into mechanically-precise slices. There are places on Earth where cheese really does taste and feel like plastic and where eggs come pre-cracked in bottles.

You know you’ve been in France too long when you aren’t wowed by the quail eggs and goat’s milk cheese in fern leaves and whole legs of jambon de bayonne at your local market anymore.

8. You don’t say “Ow!” when you get hurt, you say “Aïe!”

At first, you found it repressive when people corrected you on your pronunciation of pain, but somehow all the peer pressure wore off and now the French version pops out all on its own.

9. You expect there to be a train line to everywhere.

In the 1800s, the construction of an extensive railway network opened up France like never before. Not only was it good for business, but it was also part of the Third Republic’s master plan to unite a massive country divided by regionalism. The more remote the place, the more it was in need of a railway line to connect it to La Nation.

While some of those old lines have been turned into bike tracks called pistes vertes that crisscross the whole country, a lot are still running and you’ve come to expect a train line to even the most obscure of villages.

10. You expect all cafés to have free “weefee.”

The way the French pronounce Wifi used to make you laugh, but now, to your mind, there is no other way.

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