Jul 292009

(asked by Claire from the US) If you’re going out in France with friends or on a date, how do you customarily pay? Does each person pay separately? Does someone pay now and someone the next time? Or is the person who invites that pays? First, let’s distinguish date from out with friends. On a date, back in the days, things were simple: the man paid. There were two main reasons for that: rules of gallantry/sexism (depending your take on [Read the rest]

Jul 272009

(asked by Niall from somewhere) I’ve noticed for a while now that the French seem to have adopted Ireland and the Irish as the one English-speaking culture they are not threatened by in some way. For example, I recently had a discussion with a French friend in LA about Halloween. He was horrified that American-style Halloween was becoming more popular in France, yet one more example of creeping US cultural imperialism, blah blah blah. Then I pointed out to him [Read the rest]

Jul 222009

(asked by Frou Frou from the Czech Republic) If you will find this noteworthy reading and commenting on, I would love to read a French MAN’s perspective on this article from the Guardian…To put it simply, I totally could not believe it.I thought almost that is immoral (the bikini part). Or are women so INSECURE that they really want to have sex so early so that no one cheats on them?? Of course I know, this is generalizing and not [Read the rest]

Jul 172009

And because I’m in a good mood tonight, I’m giving you a bonus post. Not exactly a Q&A thing, but a small survey on how people arrive to this site…So, this blog gets between 100 and 200 hits a day on average (with a peak of almost 300 on Bastille Day, I wonder why… 😉 ), so we have the regular readers, the smart ones that have the blog in their favorites or even better in their RSS reader (remember [Read the rest]

Jul 172009

(asked by Kim from somewhere) I would like to know a few basic rules on the bisou. Specifically, if one is going to change from handshaking to bisouing who is the one to decide? How do French men in general feel if a woman they barely know goes for the bisou while they’re holding out their hand? If I cross paths with someone everyday but am not going to engage in a conversation (people in my apartment building for example) [Read the rest]

Jul 092009

(asked by Roz from Chamonix) Hoozah! Here’s hoping that your witty and incisive blog can help me (though perhaps ‘ask a Frenchwoman’ might have covered it better). I live in Chamonix and had my hair cut and coloured in the main hair-dressing salon today. Whilst there I saw my neighbour having a similar treatment - she and I are on first name terms, faisons la bise, and our young sons are in the same class at school and group in [Read the rest]

Jul 062009

(asked by Harmony from the UK) Could you possibly explain to a confused foreigner how the French education system works, if you continue in education after you take the baccalauréat? I’ve looked up various websites, including the Wikipedia entry for ‘classes préparatoires’ and have French friends I’ve asked, but I find it hard to separate out hard fact from a kind of snobbery (based around the fact that one friend tried repeatedly to get into ENA and has not quite [Read the rest]

Jul 062009

(asked by a few impatient readers) And the answer is: right now!!!Yes, the almost two month-long hiatus is finally over, I’m starting answering questions again, but as you can imagine my backlog is pretty big (the question I’ll answer next was asked to me in March!), so if you’ve asked a question (other than “I like this French guys, what does he think about me?”) please be patient, it’s on the way. In the meantime, you’ll notice that I’ve gone [Read the rest]

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