It was just the other night when interacting with a police office, it occurred to me that I had become fully French. Was doing things once unthinkable for me.
While there is a curiously large genera of generic and boring books by Anglos complaining about all things France, I moved here to experience first hand all things French.
While I will never be French by blood, some major milestones seem to have quietly passed indicating adopting French-ness in my way of being.
- When a police officer lectures me not to ride my bike the wrong way down a street rather than apologize as a polite Canadian should I respond challengingly with comment? (a sarcastic version of WHAT?) and inform him the signage needs to be improved and it is his duty to do so to protect the safety off people such as I.
- Sometimes I will now walk two steps into the street, then look up at what traffic is coming.
- I will discuss with my fromagier between the Brie Mieux and the Brie Melun which is more in season and whether any come close to the superior Coloummiers (which is made but a few KMs away.)
- When my frommagier refuses to cut my Coloummiers into quarters I don't quietly accept the half, I keep asking "C'est pas possible?" maybe throwin in a shrug or two until he relents and quickly cuts in down to the desired size.
- Find 8pm a normal time to be at the office, but locked out if arriving at 8am.
- Believe a one hour lunch is a right and 2 hours acceptable but feel guilt when eating at my desk for disrespecting the food I eat.
- Will drink a glass of wine at lunch (not daily, but sometimes...)
- Consider champagne perfectly acceptable for a weeknight without need of an occasion or the belief it is in any way decadent. Simple appropriate for what we are eating.
- Will fight to the death that a grape growth on one side of a hill versus the other will yeild a better wine, intrinsically not because of artificial snootiness.
- Have a drawer of scarves for every season. Never leaving home without one.
- Despite 20 moto-scooters and swarms of zooming cars will put nose in the air and cycle directly accross any roundabout (Opera, Bastille, Republique, etc. ) knowing I have the right of way and confidence everyone will allow passage. They will only honk or cut you off upon your hesitation. (Never hesitate.)
- Have adobted an esoteric hobby (collecting 1920s and 30s sports photography.)
- Own a professional grade set of boules for petanque
- Love a goot protest.
French culture and society is impressively strong and set in its ways. Bless them for it. It is what I love about them. It is what makes the country what it is. Gives a profound identity and shorthand for what France and the French are all about. A strength indentity and conviction most countries lack, all countries would kill for.
And serioulsly, Liberté Egalité Fraternité, is the greatest strap line in the hisotry of communications.