Observations

• 09 August 2009
























1. All the women are donning light, summer dresses and sandals; not the shorts that we Americans wear (including me!). It's really fun for me to see and to be quite honest, it looks more comfortable than denim. I may reassess...

2. Unlike Paris, I haven't seen any obnoxious travelers in this area (although at times our family could definitely pass as "loud"). It feels different than other regions in France. I wonder if perhaps it's because most of the tourists are from other European countries? In Rick Steves' France edition he mentions that he is surprised more Americans don't visit the Dordogne (he loves it). I definitely concur Rick!

3. You'll find both evergreen and palm trees in the same yard/garden. It's amazing. Everything grows here! And they all live together in peace :)

4. Here, the concept of the "wife not liking it" seems to strike a chord. If you don't like something and want it fixed, blame it on the wife (even if she is innocent in the matter!). For whatever reason, saying "my wife doesn't like it", "my wife wants it changed", etc. speaks to the French, while a man simply stating he isn't happy doesn't have near the affect. While it does get things done and people are far more interested in making sure I like the outcome, I am also always the scapegoat. I'm not sure how I feel about this yet...:)

5. Every time I glance outside the front door, I spot a tourist taking a picture of our third story. It's kind of surreal.

6. The grapes here are quite different than conventional grapes found in the US; they are more delicate here, as well as more sweet and more delicious!

7. The approach to raising children here is very different from those in the US. I'm not sure I'd fit in here :)

8. Everyone rises at 7, eats lunch right at noon (2 hour lunch break), and concludes the work day by 5, at the latest, with earlier hours on Fridays. The lunch hour is the most structured...you should see how people flock to the restaurants and such right at 12:00, and not a minute earlier. The bells at the local church go crazy!

18 comments:

Melvin said...

It looks great.... nice post..

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Melvin
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Calee said...

Could you share a little more about the French approach to child raising? When I lived in Ireland I noticed a marked difference between the different western European family styles, but I only know the norms for the US and Ireland--I'd love to know how you're seeing the French method.

~Celeste~ said...

Sounds like you'll have some memorable moments to take home with you:) Lovely post!

Carrie said...

I agree with Calee, I'd love to know more about the differences in child rearing.

I look forward to your new posts more than any other in my reader. I'm living vicariously through your adventures in France!

Ms. B said...

Sounds like such a lovely place to be! I'd love it if my husband took two hours for lunch everyday! Palm trees and evergreens coexisting brings a smile to my face!

xoxo

Elizabeth said...

Ah, you make it sound like heaven there! What a pleasant-sounding life. Can't you dish a little on the flaws, so the rest of us don't feel so inadequate? ;)

Kelly and Kelly said...

I love this post. And I too want to hear about the difference in child raising. Very interested (if you have time).

Girlfrog said...

I would also really like to hear the difference in child raising in France (and I would assume other countries as well!). I've always suspected that things were done much differently but to be completely honest I would have thought their way might be preferable to our societies!

Starr said...

What sorts of shoes do the lovely French ladies wear with their summery dresses?

stephmodo said...

Starr,

The shoes are nothing fancy--just cute, simple sandals. Sometimes they are "comfort sandals" and sometimes stylish gladiators. The dresses are nothing fancy--again just simple and usually colorful. I see more color than black. It's nice to see people still dress up on vacation, the way it used to be in our country!

Joslyn said...

i'm all aobut the sundress approach to summer. especially in hot, hot Texas!

Rachel said...

Gorgeous Photos Steph, nice post!!

Prairie Girl Studio said...

oh stephanie ~ i do so enjoy your postings about your france adventure! we all know how insanely romantic it must be on one hand, and yet you reveal how 'real' it is on the other ~ the grass is greener on the other side except maybe a thing or two which is true wherever we roam. just wanted to say that i am totally a skirt and dress girl ~ all seasons ... just love the looseness ... maybe a bit of parisian on the prairies?
take good care over there ~
prairiegirl

debbiem said...

Great observations. We spent a week in Champagnac de Belair (Dorgogne) two summers ago. It is very lovely and quiet. Our family (4 boys) were definitely the loud bunch. But everyone was very pleasant. We went to Brantome often for shopping. The shops closed at lunch time which proved to be both quaint and annoying. It was a great experience for the boys, especially since alot of people in the area do not speak English, they were forced to try to speak French.

Mea said...

Yes, please, more about the French style of child rearing when you've the chance to share. Seeing the region through your eyes is stunning. Merci!

Starr said...

Thanks for the view of summer footwear.

Lisa said...

I am also very interested to hear about the differences in child rearing. Having lived outside the U.S for the past several years now, I have picked up on some differences myself. However, given that I do not have children of my own, I'm sure you have been granted greater insight on the matter...I've noticed that here in the UK, the a child's behavior is much more linked to class & that a certain amount of discipline is expected the more wealthy the family. I've also noticed a greater reliance on nannies than in the U.S (at first I thought that there were just a lot of young mothers here..then later realized that it wasn't their own offspring that all of those young girls were toting about). Would love to hear more if you are inclined to write about it.

Jfictionjackie said...

As an American married to a Frenchman (we are moving to France for a while) I too would love to hear more on your thoughts on the differences in child-raising!

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