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Curious Things You Didn’t Know About the French

Oh-So-French Facts that You Might Discover while in Paris

From their 'mode de vie' to their views on modern-day monuments, there are plenty of things that you may not know about Les Français. And some of it just might surprise you.

Oh, les Français. They’re elegant, skilled in the kitchen, and have a penchant for holidays, but how well do you really know them? Here are a few curious things you didn’t know about the French.

A baguette with a chocolate bar makes a fine breakfast

When I first saw a Parisian woman stuff a baguette with chocolate chunks and give it to her child for breakfast my mind was boggled. But it’s absolutely normal in France! C’est normal. Don’t mind if I do…

You can’t actually be fired from your French job

France has very strict laws to protect laborers, as surprising as this may sound for an American or anyone else for that matter. French people have two types of work contracts, a CDD which means a contract with a determined end date, and a CDI which is a contract with an undetermined end – in other words, you can work there indefinitely. It’s really difficult to fire someone in France, which is a wonderful safety net for the worker. The downside? It’s a bit harder to actually gain employment.

Why look both ways when crossing the street?

The streets may be crowded with cars, but the French (particularly Parisians) walk as they please. Hardly do you see pedestrians stop for traffic and look both ways before they cross. The street is theirs!

Natural is better

The French aren’t too keen on plastic surgery or heavy makeup. Bravo to them for keeping it real.

They hated the Eiffel Tower

Oh yes! When it was first built, the wrought iron structure was not so beloved by Parisians. The “monstrosity” stuck out like a sore thumb from the quaint uniform Haussmann buildings and the French just didn’t like it. However, time heals all wounds, and the Eiffel Tower is now the symbol of the capital of France. It’s an icon, who can say otherwise?

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