Salut YouTube! If this is your first time seeing my face My name is Rosie, and I am a Kiwi living in France, which is why today I wanted to do a video on the biggest culture shocks New Zealand – France that I’ve encountered The kind of things that make you go “say whaaaat?” And there’s so many of them I’ve narrowed it down to just 20 and I will break it down into two parts So we’ll do part one today and part two next time So let’s get started So one of the first things that I noticed about my French peers and my European peers as well But my French peers in particular is that they’re just so well-educated they have such a broad general knowledge about history, art science, geography politics, economics and Of course we get taught these things in New Zealand, but I’m sure we didn’t go that into depth You’ll just be having a general conversation with people and they’ll be like “Oh well, we all know what happened in 1712 ho ho ho” and I’ll be there like Yeah We sure do So I was doing a little bit of research trying to figure out why I graduated feeling so thick and actually, I found that if you compare the educational performance between New Zealand and France we actually outperform France in maths and science and reading and when I digged a little bit deeper I figured out that actually New Zealand has what we call a skills based education system where we really focus on very practical, applicable topics like science and maths and France has a content based education system Which means that they’ll spend more time building a very broad general basis of knowledge and a typical New Zealander will be like “Well what are you going to do with yourself after that?” We’re always thinking what can we study that will be applicable and will give us a job The result is that I feel slightly less cultured compared to my French friends and that’s probably an understatement! The second cultural difference that I noticed pretty much straight away was around food I think I’m gonna do a whole separate video on this topic because the French have a very complex relationship with their food But what I will say is that there are so many unwritten rules and rituals when it comes to food in France For example You have just three meals per day you have your breakfast your lunch and your dinner, and you don’t snack but if you do snack, it’s an official thing called a “goûter” and you take that at 4pm. And also you’re eating real meals in these moments so you sit down for lunch and you will have a chicken breast and vegetables and potatoes, so I’m talking quite big hot meals and after each meal even a lunch you always finish with something sweet so either a yogurt or a fruit or some form of dessert I’ve noticed and I never used to need dessert after lunch and now I NEED dessert after lunch And they’re just so civilized they use their cutlery for everything which makes me sound really rough But I mean nachoes, burgers pizzas French people eat those with a knife and fork! One area though where I do think we have one up on the French is with the bread So with the baguette they’ll cut it up And I’ll just put the piece of bread on the table beside them so they won’t actually put it on a bread plate I mean what if it’s dirty? What if a fly had just landed on that spot? So to be honest I feel having a bread plate Or at least putting your piece of bread on your plate is one step up from the French Another culture shock is related to very common household items So in Europe they have these really Large, square pillows that you sleep on rather than the standard rectangle that I’m used to and I just think that these are kind of ridiculous like I’ve literally brought one here This pillow is so huge, it’s so square and all of this space just gets wasted because you you’ve got your head like this So I’m going to sleep, here I am going to sleep on my big square pillow, and I must have like 40, 50 centimeters above me! Another common household item that kind of made me be like what?! is the common shower Their shower heads are often detached You know when you’ve got the detached shower heads off the wall with the kind of paddle head which is all very well and fine, but in most circumstances they don’t have the attachment that actually holds the head up So you’ve just got the paddle and you’re trying to like wash yourself and hold your shower paddle in the other hand and so now I’ve noticed in more modern apartments and more modern showers they do have the attachment that allows you to sort of place the head in place Which is fine, but I just kind of find it weird that every single shower head in France is detached. Oh and speaking of showers I’ve always noticed as well that when French people stay with me I mean not that I’m listening to people showering don’t get the wrong impression But I have actually noticed that people will turn on the shower and then stop the shower and I’ll be like oh, okay they’re finished, but then I hear the shower come on again This must be because they can’t hold the showerhead in their hands Number four is of course La bise – the famous kisses that you give each other when you greet each other in France Firstly it’s super confusing about how many bise are meant to be given to each person, it depends on the region and even the French don’t really know like they’ve actually started a website called ‘combiendebises.com’ (how many kisses.com) So that people can figure out what the rules are socially so sometimes it’s very awkward like you’re going in for another one the person’s already stopped you feel like you’re coming on too strong It can be very confusing and I just kind of found that funny how you greet absolute strangers in the same way that you greet your own mother For us I guess the next level would be hugging someone so giving them a big bear hug But if you hug people here if they kind of freeze like Oh. What are you doing to me? So yeah stick to the bise, but it’s um it’s hard to get used to sometimes where you’re just like kissing people like “hey you, who I don’t know” Number five is the French and their Pharmacies, my gosh! I have never seen so many pharmacies in my life On my street alone I’ve got three pharmacies and I’m not exaggerating and on my first trip to the doctor’s I soon found out why I had such a simple common cold and he must have given me like eight medications He’s just throwing pills out like it’s a lolly scramble – pills for everybody!! According to the OECD France are Europe’s number one pill poppers when it comes to prescribed medication Why? Maybe it’s because health care over here is basically free And if not you take a private health insurance called a ‘mutuelle’ which kind of tops it up to make sure that is free when you go to the doctor or you go to the pharmacy and get your medication and so I think we’ve got some very enthusiastic doctors over here and some very wealthy Pharmacists! Number six is maybe a little bit harder to explain if you’ve never lived in New Zealand But I just feel like we’ve got a totally different approach to time over here Firstly, we’ve got a lot less of it in Paris at least so in New Zealand a typical workday would be you’d be at work From 8:30 to 5:30. You’d have a quick 30 minute lunch break, quickly eat a sandwich Snack all afternoon, and you’d be out the door, and you’d be able to go to the gym, so you do some sport And you’d have dinner, and then I feel like you’d still have your whole evening ahead of you whereas here It’s like things that kind of just slower somehow. You’ve got the commute, you usually start work quite late like around 9:30 I often don’t finish work until 7:30/8:00 and then you commute all the way back home. I mean here if you’re eating at 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. It’s super normal and at first when I arrived I was Starving by that time and by the time you eat and you take your shower, it’s 11 p.m. Here during the weeks in Paris at least this is what they say it’s “métro, boulot, dodo” Oh, and that is so true you take the metro, you work and you go to bed and that’s sort of all you do during the week unless you’re a super energizer bunny And the nice side of things that life does adapt so the post office is open till 8:00 p.m. and at 11:00 p.m. the streets are still lively and brimming with energy You’ve got people out for dinner, drinking Whereas in New Zealand sometimes at 5:00 p.m. everything’s closing down in it sort of becomes a shantytown so yeah, there’s pros and cons too Number 7 and it may be related to what I was just saying about the lack of time is that there seems to be way less of a sports and gym culture here So in New Zealand A lot of people would turn up to the office in the morning with their gym bag that obviously been up at 6am doing sports or they have their gym bag, and they go to sports after work, and it was like a daily thing almost like people on average I’d say would aim to get to the gym 3 to 5 times a week Or do some kind of sport and sport was sport. I mean I’m talking you’re in the gym. You’re lifting weights. You’re doing one hour Intensive courses. You sweat. Over here, I’ve got way less French gym buddies than I do international gym buddies I don’t know why But this doesn’t seem to be so much of a gym culture over here and for them even if they just walk up some stairs or Go shopping or something they say that they did some sport For me, that’s just living But yeah, it counts as sports here, and it’s true that in Paris by the time You’re walking around, taking a metro, getting to work and stuff you probably easily walk 5 kilometres day just by living, so you do walk a lot, but it’s not exactly what I would call “sport” So the eighth cultural shock that I also noticed is That there seems to be a real problem with waiting here So for example if you go to the bank Or if you’re going to buy a ticket down in the metro it can be normal that you’ll have like five people in front of You right, I mean that’s just part of life But here, I kind of feel like that’s a big issue, so if you’re in the bank And you notice that there’s a queue and a French person comes up behind you and has like maybe six people in front of them You’re differently hear like Like when you need to wait or when you need to queue it seems to be a very frustrating and annoying situation And I mean no one loves queueing like it’s not my favorite pastime to queue But you know it’s part of life, we’re in a big city Sometimes you have to wait for five to ten minutes to get what you want, but here I mean you’ll you’ll hear about it Another place where you see the problem with waiting is at pedestrian crossings. The cars don’t really wait for pedestrians you’ll be there at the pedestrian crossing and they’ll just be zooming on past you and even when the little man is green I mean you better watch yourself like I look both ways and make sure that nothing’s coming or if something’s coming I make sure that he’s seen me because otherwise he’ll be there and even if he is there waiting for me He’s there like revving to go especially the guys on the motorbikes and as soon as you’ve gone past them just one centimeter you’ll hear this And they’ll just zoom past you they sound like they’ve been so angry having to wait just five seconds while you cross in front of them Number nine is quite a New Zealand specific one I think but what I have noticed in France and what I like about France is that it’s actually okay to accept compliments here and if someone compliments you and says something nice about you you can smile and take it and that’s it! In New Zealand we suffer from tall poppy syndrome which means that we like everyone to kind of be the same And we like to stay down and low-key and the same as everyone If you can imagine a field of poppies And there’s one poppy that stands out taller than the others the others will cut it down It’s really highly valued to be as humble as possible and as self-deprecating as possible I think over here where people would be like oh nice dress Rosie. I’d be like oh this old thing Oh, it’s nothing. It was so cheap. I got it on sale Honestly, I think it brings out my fat ass. I mean I think the French people were quite shocked They were like whoa whoa I mean Don’t be so mean to yourself So I’m very happy with this cultural gift that France has given me where now someone if compliments me I’ll just say Merci Culture shock number 10 really revolves around how socializing is done here, and this is probably just because I’m in Paris I will say that but I kind of feel like to see your friends It’s like scheduling an appointment with a doctor or a lawyer You need to figure out your availabilities like two three weeks in advance Book in some time with them At home, you can just go around to people’s houses You can just text them last minute like “hey coming round to your house” or not even text them just show up whereas here it’s like everyone’s so busy and they’re all booked out in advance. I often cancelled on as well, by even my close friends like You’ll always have to double check that they’re still coming like “are we still on for tonight?” because the risk of canceling I feel is like 50/50 I found that kind of funny as well when I was adjusting to the way socializing gets done here So that’s all from me for now party people Because I will be coming back at you with part two of these cultural shocks for the next ten that cultural shocks that I noticed and if you like any topics to do with France expat life, living abroad, New Zealand, travel, this kind of thing Could be a good idea to subscribe so that we can get to know each other a little bit more as time goes on So I look forward to seeing you then and until then, à bientôt!