1. Words like apéro, goûter, poubelle, poussette and many others wind their way into your English conversations. Why bother translating words that slide off the tongue like that?
2. You haven’t had a Coke in ages and can’t believe how much soda people back home drink. Zut alors!
3. You think all the Anglophone tourists in France speak way too loudly in public.
4. Your general doctor is on speed dial and you think nothing about getting an appointment on the day you call.
5. Popping open champagne is not just an occasional event anymore.
6. You start asking the boulanger for your baguette “pas trop cuite”.
7. You are keenly aware that when a song by pop band Téléphone comes on the radio, every person over 40 will be tapping their feet or singing along.
8. “C’est impossible” is no longer a phrase that makes your blood boil; you just nod, smile and find a back door solution anyways.
9. Sweatpants and white Jerry Seinfeld tennis shoes are no longer acceptable attire beyond your front door.
10. You’re not sure when, but you’ve stopped eating between meals.
11. Speaking of food, unless you are on a picnic in the wilderness, a Wonderbread sandwich and chips are no longer acceptable lunch menus–for you or your kids.
12. You get used to being asked “What is your budget?” instead of being proposed a quote for any service you require.
13. You don’t just stroll along the sidewalks to get somewhere, it’s more like the “European fast walk” as a friend puts it.
14. You are totally familiar with French “noise” vocabulary including “hein?” “hop” and “tack”. No one learns these in French 101.
15. You’ve learned all the familiar hand gestures, your favorite being the famous French triple move: shoulder shrug + palms of your hands facing up + a little pop raspberry sound coming out of your mouth–all at the same time. Translation: “I have no $#%@ clue what you are saying, and I don’t care to find out either.”
16. Stoic sales people and wait staff don’t faze you in the least. In fact, if they’re too friendly, you wonder what’s wrong!
17. You keep a relatively recent electric bill in your purse; never know when you’ll need to prove your address… again.
18. You stop leaving waiters 20% tips… or any tips at all.
19. You would never consider dinner before 8 pm; maybe 7:30 pm if small children are involved.
20. You get rid of all your one piece bathing suits and sports bras. Why bother.
21. You feel seriously sorry for people who can’t take off the whole month of August.
22. And on that note, you realize nothing gets done in May or August.