The first title I had for this article was “Filipino and French Way of Life: The Differences in the Details” but I dropped it. It sounds like a research.
- Appointment with your doctor
First thing, you need to ask for an appointment except when your case is urgent, nevertheless, you must still call to have a slot. When you are at their clinic, the doctor will search for you at the waiting area, will ask for your health insurance card and process it for reimbursement. After the consultation, the doctor will tell you how much is the consultation fee and you have to pay to doctor himself or herself.
- The coats and the scarves
I will start with the coat. When I was in the Philippines, I fancied wearing outfits that are not appropriate when the temperature is around 30°C plus the humidity. Yeah, coats are trendy but wearing them every day for months is not really fun if you come from a country where summer goes all year round.
When you go to your appointment like the doctor, laboratories or whatever office it is or you’re meeting your friend, you have to take off your coat when you’re inside, otherwise you’ll be sweating and it will make it much colder when you go out later. So, you take it off, find a vestiaire and if none, you have to carry them with you all the time or hang them on your seat. Then when you leave, you have to put them on again before going out especially when it’s freezing. This is where the awkward things could happen.
I went to see my doctor a week ago and she accompanied me to the door like what doctors do here after the check-up. Yes, they will search for you at the waiting area, shake hands with you and then take you to their consultation room. After that, she escorted me and we were in front of the door saying our goodbyes when I noticed the zip of my coat got stuck. I tried to fix it with my doctor waiting but I wasn’t able to after several tried so I had to leave with a coat unzipped to cut that awkward moment. I ended up fixing it outside in the freezing cold.
Another incident was when I met a friend for coffee. And then, the parting time came. We talked about how happy we were to see each other and planned for our next rendezvous while putting on our coats. However we had to suspend our goodbyes for 20 minutes to unstick her stuck zipper. The temperature was below zero and nobody wants to catch a cold.
In my growing-up years, I have had difficulty in responding to compliments. Like if someone would tell me that I’ve got a nice bag, my reply would be “Oh, no. Yours is better.” I felt like it’s arrogant to say “Yes, my bag is nice.” But actually, if you don’t find your bag nice, why did you buy it anyway? Well, I think the example is not too good because you have a choice when you buy a bag.
A situation with no escape route is when someone compliments you about your physical characteristics or attributes. “Pag sure uy!” expression came in handy. My teachers in high school have told us to say thank when you are praised but I didn’t put it into practice until someone made me uncomfortable when he exposed my problem in dealing with compliments. He told me to just say thank you and not make a fuss. So I made it my resolution to just say thank you and especially that I don’t have much to be complimented on. I should be happy with it.
Then, I’m here in Paris. When I received some compliments, I’ve said thank you to sound mature and to cut the conversation. However, we had this French etiquette discussion in our class. I’ve learned that you should not say “merci” immediately or never say it if someone gives you compliments. You should first say, “Vous trouvez?” or “Tu trouves?,” and the likes. And instead of saying thank you, it should be “C’est gentil de ta/votre part” and like phrases. It’s because saying thank would sound quite “prétentieux” on your part.
- Bags on the Floor
- Passing the same route
- Going out is good, staying at home bad
- Open gifts in front of the giver
When I arrived here in France, French friends invited me and they gave me some welcome presents.
- Thank you a lot of times
- You serve the plates to your guests
- Trainings (Formation) for fields of work, vendors babysitters
However, I am keeping the “details” stuff because I love the small details which you might not think of unless you live them.