Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Courbevoie, France
What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?
Moving to France Soon?
If they speak another language in your new country, do you speak the language? If yes, did you learn the language before you moved or while abroad? If no, are you planning to learn the language?
Not planning to learn the language
Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?
How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?
I merely dislike most of how things are organized in France. I prefer freedom which is lacking here. I still shop by phone in the USA and have everything sent to me. I refuse to shop in France for anything except medical care and food.
Expats often talk about going through the "stages of culture shock." Examples include the honeymoon phase, the irritation-to-anger stage, the rejection of the culture stage, and the cultural adjustment phase. Do you feel like you went through these or any other stages as you settled into the new culture?
No. There was never a "honeymoon stage", as I moved to France due to the economic crisis.I
What, if any, were some of the changes you noticed in yourself that might have been caused by culture shock? These might include things such as anger, depression, anxiety, increased eating or drinking, frustration, homesickness, etc.
I notice I get angry when I order something, pay for it, and they refuse to return your money when the product is defective or improperly prepared.
I also dislike the lack of customer service here. I understand all transactions here must be final in order for the state to be certain of its revenue. This is why I refuse to shop in France.
What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?
I like they are helpful when you are lost on the streets. I also like they have helped my 87 year old grandfather when he goes shopping. I also appreciate that all members of the family are invited to dinner.
What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?
Just getting used to the French who are always afraid and scared. This is due to their training to be docile to authority. France is run like a civilian military, so you have to do things accordingly, but all is administered by uncaring state agents. I
Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!
I dared to think the stores would be open daily, so often I forget and show up at the bakery when it is closed.
Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?
It's really easy to know about another culture these days. Everything is knowable by doing your homework before you go.
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