Posts Tagged ‘culture differences’

20th August
written by bob

A few observations from our month long stay in Bangkok as compared to France, our current home:

Driving – traffic is a “bit” crazy! Taxis, tuk-tuks may try to rip you off but this usually only amounts to $1-2USD. Meanwhile, taxis “ass-rape” you in the Cote d’Azur. Think I’m kidding? Try coming here and taking a 20 minute (15km) cab ride. It will cost you about 80€-90€ (about $105 USD)!

People & Attitude – The Thai are generally very happy people especially when you visit their country. Unlike the French, with the Thai, trust is given, not earned. They are very much like Canadians in that respect. (No wonder I liked them so much!) Respect is always shown from a Thai native.

Shoes at the Door – Thai people never enter a place of dwelling with shoes on. Shoes are left outside the door. ALWAYS! Even the housekeeping staff at our hotel never entered our room with their shoes/sandals on. The French seem to walk into a house and keep their shoes on. (Considering the amount of dog crap on the sidewalks, I’m not sure that is a good idea.)

Sacred Body – The head is considered of the highest order. The feet are the lowest and considered dirty. Never step over someone’s head with your feet and NEVER, EVER point your feet toward Buddha.

Money – Never step on money to stop coins from rolling or bills from blowing away. This is considered an insult to the Queen, her family, and the Thai people.

Customer Service – was “unbelievably superior” to anywhere I have ever been! Thai people open doors for you – malls, taxis, hotels, etc. They are EXTREMELY courteous and polite. The French, have no idea what customer service is. PERIOD. If you ever “want” to feel like Royalty, visit Thailand and enjoy their unbelievable hospitality. They are amazing people!

Safety – In all the taxis we rode, there wasn’t one that had seatbelts readily available to use. We had to dig them out from behind the backseat. Seatbelts are the law in France as safety is taken seriously. (Unless you ride a moto then you can ride with a kid that is at least 5 years old. Ummm, what? Darwinism, that’s all I’m saying. I feel bad for the kids!)

Speed Limits – In Thailand, speed limits are a mere suggestion. On the other hand, speed cameras will nab you in France.

In Thailand there are free roaming Monitor lizards. Very cool! In France, well, there are lots of free roaming Romanian gypsies. Not cool, EVER!

Au revoir, mes amis!

29th April
written by bob

So…in the almost 2 months we have lived here now, we have come to notice some obvious differences between France & the US.  In random order here is our compiled list…

  1. Dogs crap on sidewalks and the owner does NOT clean it up – EVER! This is someone’s actual job. (I have yet to see an owner clean up after their dog – see the Google Street View pic below)
  2. Cashiers do not have to / will not lift anything over 8kg (ie. not required to lift; it’s in their job description).
  3. 35 hrs work weeks; anything more is considered overtime and tacked on as vacation time at the end of the month.
  4. Kids do NOT go to school on Wednesday and therefore mother’s don’t go to work on Wednesday.
  5. Every 6 weeks school is out for 2 weeks and, yet, they still have 2 months off for summer holidays.
  6. Most businesses are not open past 8pm. (nothing is 24-hr)
  7. If a business is open on Saturday, it will usually be closed on Sunday & Monday.
  8. Lunch breaks are 2 HOURS in duration.
  9. At lunch, drinking is socially acceptable (& encouraged).  (ummm, fill ‘er up tarbendar! *hic*)
  10. Great wines are very cheap! (We love our Bordeaux!)
  11. Resumes contain a picture, marital status, birth date, and sex. In fact, these are required.
  12. People walk everywhere and don’t think twice about it.
  13. Obesity is not a problem here. (probably due to point #13)
  14. This is "right" outside of our place on Google Street View. How nice?!

  15. Every town has a farmer’s market at least once per week.
  16. The Antibes’ farmer’s market is open 6 days a week.
  17. Dogs and children are allowed everywhere (ie. dogs in restaurants).
  18. Dogs are very often not on leashes. (this makes us leery when G is walking around – esp with a pitbull breed)
  19. All cars have to go through a government-regulated inspection prior to selling it to someone.
  20. Hookers are Russian and manual laborers are North African. (hey, it’s just an observation…)
  21. While there are clearly designated parking spots, it’s perfectly acceptable to park your scooter, motorcycle, & car on the sidewalk or wherever, for that fact.
  22. Everyday you can buy fresh seafood on ice from a guy with a cart.
  23. France produces and consumes more bottled water than any other country in the world. (1.5L costs €0.21…that explains it)
  24. Eating peanut butter is unfathomable. (you’re lucky to find it on the grocer’s shelves)
  25. Everyone will buy a french bagette and walk around eating it plain.  (And, it’s REALLY good!)
  26. For the most part, the concept of “customer service” does NOT exist at all.  (see our previous post for a firsthand experience!)
  27. The only appropriate greetings are “Bon jour” and “Bon Soir”.
  28. There is no Tylenol here. (seems weird)
  29. When illegal aliens try to enter the country, France shuts its border to trains coming in!  (check the news last week about immigrants attempting to enter)

And…BEST of all…

In general, “political correctness” has not engrained itself into French society. ( <- personally I LOVE this one!)


Au revoir, mes amis!