Author Shari Leslie Segall and publisher Lisa Vanden Bos have collaborated to produce a witty little book, 90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French, in the guise of a checklist for Americans living in Paris to help them determine how well they have integrated into French culture.
Colorfully illustrated by artist Judit Halász, this concisely-written book challenges expat readers to reflect on how much they have adapted to what they initially must have perceived as quirky customs when they first arrived in the French capital: stores closed at inconvenient times, crossing the handwritten number 7, addressing people with the formal “vous” rather than the informal “tu,” eating bread without butter, putting on a stoic face—rather than a happy one—when walking down the street…the list goes on.
I took exception to a few of the depictions of the French, not finding them to ring true from my experience. But Segall has been living French corporate culture—she is a consultant in cross-cultural communication—and her experiences are necessarily different from mine. I find, for example, that the French are quite punctual, and I am always surprised when I hear people declare that they are not.
Americans living in Paris will enjoy reading this book, and those first-timers dreaming about living a Parisian adventure will profit from the knowledge they gain before setting foot in the City of Light.
90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French can be purchased on Amazon. Click here to learn more!