Forget about a sandwich guzzled down in 5 minutes flat in front of your computer. Here we usually have a leisurely meal with colleagues at the office canteen or a restaurant. Mealtimes are for relaxation and conversation. Whether on a café terrace, in a good restaurant or at home with friends, quality always takes precedence over quantity. There is a good reason why French gastronomy is world famous! You should also know that all the clichés about baguettes and pain au chocolate are true.
At work, with friends or in the family, the French love a good debate, where they can express their opinions on politics, current affairs or foreign affairs. They are generally fairly frank, and will tell you what they think of any subject. They will make you work on your debating skills!
Work less and live more
The French working week is 35 hours. Managerial staff generally work longer hours, but can make up the overtime in extra days off, known as ‘RTT’ days. They take advantage of their days off to play sport or take in some culture, or other activities. Most French people take several weeks’ holiday in August. The country virtually comes to a halt. But don’t get us wrong, the French have one of the best productivity rates per hour in the world.
Culture and fashion
Paris is the world’s fashion capital, thanks to such great couturiers as Yves St Laurent, Jean Paul Gaultier and Karl Lagerfeld. Fashion in France is not just luxury boutiques. It’s also the mixture of fabrics, colours and accessories in a chic, elegant, fashionable style. Museums, music and dance, etc.: all art forms are present in this, the country of human rights and freedom of expression.
So, have you packed your bags?