Hello everyone! Currently I am sitting inside of a Starbucks here in France. I’d actually like to include this in my list of differences for today, because it’s quite interesting.
In Michigan, Starbucks is everyone’s entire life. We go there for meetings, to do homework, and even wake up early to run and get a coffee before school. Typically though, everyone is on a laptop doing some type of work. Starbucks is known as a place you may meet to do homework or finish work you need to concentrate, however I find here that Starbucks is more of a social outing. People come in between breaks at school or work, and really just eat, drink and talk. I kind of like this better, because when I come in and just sit on my phone I don’t feel obliged to pretend to do homework on a laptop.
Now this a HUGE difference... In France, there are literal police officiers/military-looking guards roaming the street all the time. Of course in the US there might be police walking around if there’s an event or a protest, but once France they just walk around all during the day in groups of three. They’re in a full, and in my opinion a bit eccentric, uniforms, and even equipped with rather large guns. They could seem a bit threatening at first, but they will typically smile at you if you smile at them, because they’re really just there to do their job of protecting the citizens. Honestly, it’s a little comforting because I feel like they’ll always be close if I’m in trouble.
Everyone that knows me knows that I love coffee, so I was shocked to find that in France, their go-to form of coffee is actually espresso. Instead of ordering coffee and getting a cup of coffee and your choice of cream in sugar, when you order a normal coffee here you’re served a small shot of espresso- MAYBE with a sugar. This took some getting used to, but since I happen to like the flavor of coffee, it was pretty easy to adapt to. At my host home, I just make a cup with a few shots of espresso and some milk to get the familiar feeling of holding a warm cup of coffee.
On another note, I think it is getting warmer and I am so excited!