Jeff Steiner's Americans in France.
Resource for people that would like to live or travel in France.



Daily Life



Moving Planner


Q & A

Reading List

Travel Planner


Expat Store

Driver's License



Disposal Units


Learn French

Tax Services


CultureGeneral Thoughts

Food and eating are the center of French existence. The French go to great lengths to make their meals as long as possible. They live to eat and do it very slowly and deliberately, savoring each bite as they go, not rushed as in the United States.

French meals are structured as follows: starter or aperitif, a main meal, consisting of some short of meat along with vegetables and a sauce for the meat, and then there is cheese, and lastly, dessert. The French have to sit down at a table when they eat and concentrate, so no eating in front of the TV. Any drinks during a meal will be chosen to complement the taste of the food. This is why the French often have wine that supplements the taste of the food or water that has no taste.

The French like to enjoy life and are not workaholics. As most French people have five weeks vacation a year and numerous paid holidays, they take their vacations very seriously. They work to enjoy life, not like in the United States where Americans live to work.

The French look to their government to do a lot for them. With most social problems the first thought is that the government should do something, come up with some type of plan and not just money. Just about everyone, along with many businesses, in France will receive some type of government subsidy. Every family in France that has children has the right to get a monthly government stipend.

I believe that the French are unorganized in groups, i.e. government, but on the personal and family level, they are very well organized. The French bureaucracy is a nightmare to understand and deal with. When we tried to register our son for our government stipend, our paper work was lost, and there was an almost endless wait. On a personal level, everybody has their own health book that keeps all of their health records. Each family also has a book where all birth records for the family are kept.

Sign-up for the FREE Americans in France newsletter!





Search Site