You know you’re in France when…

Ray, Téa and I had fun making up this list at a cafe the other day. It started when the guacamole we ordered arrived with a pat of butter and slices of baguette instead of chips. Some of these may apply more specifically to Lyon than all of France…

Longchamp bags are ubiquitous.

You see a row of people smoking in front of every bar and restaurant.

Retail stores are closed on Sunday.

Schools don’t hire substitute teachers.

Schools close for random Catholic holidays like Ascension and Pentecost (had to Google that one!) but are open on Good Friday. Don’t forget, it’s a secular nation.

Waiters offer your 13-year-old daughter wine without consulting you forget about her id.

IMG_0927
Téa and our friend Barbara enjoying a delicious meal and wine at Imoutu.

Bar owners expect manners from their customers and appreciate “Bonsoir,” before you say, “Deux bieres!”

The best restaurants are closed on the weekend.

You can find delicious inexpensive prix fixe lunches everywhere.

You often wait a long time at your table before you get service – and the waiters don’t apologize for this, it’s just the way it is.

You don’t hear music playing in most restaurants.

People sit and enjoy a coffee. You never see people walking around with paper coffee cups.

No one picks up after their dog.

Dog poop remains on the pedestrian bridge and sidewalks for weeks while street sweepers wake you at 5 a.m. every morning sweeping the relatively clean streets.

There are dumpster-like recycling collection bins on street corners just for wine bottles.

When you press 1 for English the final, most important directions are delivered in French.

Trams and trains arrive and depart exactly on time (unless there is a strike or someone jumps in front of one – sadly, yes, we have been delayed for both of these reasons).

Potatoes are both uglier and tastier than you thought possible.

There is no such thing as a bagger in a grocery store.

A Chinese restaurant called Mao exists.

Two buck chuck is really two euro choice.

Eggs are kept on an unrefrigerated shelf and taste really, really good.

You can buy delicious baguettes for 1 euro instead of awful ones for $3.75.

All of this costs 4 euro.IMG_0874

Feel free to add to the list!

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