Welcome to Day 4 celebrating A Spy Like Me!
Today we have a treat. Katie (A.K.A. Creepy Query Girl) is talking about living in France. I’ve followed her blog for a couple years and keep reading for her honesty, humor, and well, because she’s Katie! Visit her blog and see why she’s loved by the blogosphere. I’ve read snippets of her work and think she’s a talented writer. Watch out world! Take it away, Katie!
Oh, and Katie lives in France and A Spy Like Me is set in Paris, France!
So, when Laura proposed I write about being an American living in France, I realized that most of the posts I’ve already written complained about French drivers, or ‘goodbye’ protocol, the French’s obsessions with eating outside or ironing every piece of clothing they own.
But the bottom line is, I choose to live in France because there are way more things I love than things that irk me. So today I’m going to tell you about those things:
Eating in France is awesome. Any trip to the grocery store can result in cheap-but-delicious wine, cheese, pastries, pâtés, smoked meats, or chocolate. The food here is that good.
Staying skinny in France is pretty awesome, too. Despite the calories in all of the above, the strict eating schedule most French adhere to (early breakfast, two-hour lunches where everything closes from 12:30-2:30pm, snack at 4pm and hour-long dinner at night ‘en famille’) gives us an advantage in digestion and food choices that works to maintain average body weight.
Free Health Care in France. Basically, French citizens have a social security card with a chip in it. We pay for our medical appointments up front (between 25-50 euros) and then we’re reimbursed electronically within the week/month. Same goes for procedures like ultrasounds or x-rays. Things are usually covered immediately for prescriptions. With two kids suffering from asthma, and one who throws herself into constant calamities, I couldn’t be more thankful for this system.
Commercial Breaks. In France, a 6-minute commercial break occurs once every HALF AN HOUR! The program doesn’t just ‘cut to black’, but we’re given a ‘PUBLICITE’ warning that it’s commercial time. When the French buy up an American series, they usually show it two episodes at a time in order to take up the same slot one episode would have taken in the U.S. I remember how annoyed I was with the programming when I came back to visit the U.S.- the shows would just cut out every five minutes for a commercial. Sometimes I didn’t even realize we weren’t watching my show anymore! #easilyconfusesdpeople
Paid-At-Home-Moms One of the biggest reasons I love living in France is that the French government attributes ‘family allocations’ – basically a kind of salary if one parent decides to stay home and raise the children. Men have just as much right to this as women. For four years I was a paid-at-home-mom and was able to raise three beautiful children, which is something (with the price of childcare and medical expenses) I’m not sure I would have been able to do in the United States.
My Husband Because I’d be in trouble if I wrote a list of things I love about France and didn’t include my French husband J
Thanks for having me Laura! I’ll be sure to hang out and answer any questions in the comment’s section. Can’t wait to read ‘A Spy Like Me’!
Thanks Katie! I love your posts about living in France.
No giveaway today but check out the three still happening.
Gemma Halliday and Hollywood Scandals
Anne R. Allent and The Gatsby Game
Elisa Ludwig and Pretty Crooked
Come back tomorrow for Elena Andrews and her young adult thriller, Run Like Hell! Every teen’s nightmare come true.
Feel free to ask Katie about living in France!
Laura, Monday’s post was already overflowing, so I’m mentioning your book and tour in my post tomorrow. Congratulations again and hope you’re having fun!
Loved hearing more about your life in France Katie, especially since I follow your blog. There does sound like some awesome things about living there. The eating schedule sounds great and the way they do commercials on TV.
Oh, France sounds amazing. Although I don’t know how I would fare in a country that uses the iron that much – my poor husband has had two shirts hanging hopefully by my ironing board for over a month. I’m thinking of just suggesting HE use to learn the iron, because I? Am no good at it.
The food, though? And the ability to stay at home with my children without having to freak out over finances? Yeah, for that I think I might even be willing to learn to iron better!
Glad to be invited Laura!
Louise- I’m terrible at ironing too. My poor french husband has to iron his own shirts and I’m pretty much shunned by my mil when it comes to my tiny little american iron preference.
Turkey and France must have ironing in common. I remember watching amazed as my Turkish sister-in-law ironed her underwear! Loved hearing all about France, Katie.
And Laura — I’m so sorry to be this late to congratulate you. I’ve been AWOL a lot lately in my writing cave, but saw on Twitter that your book had been released and had to come congratulate you! I just bought it on Kindle and can’t wait to read it. Looks like you’ve already got some amazing reviews.
Enjoy all the excitement!
This was SO COOL to read, Katie and Laura!
I’m craving Brie right now. Thanks for the glimpse into French life, Katie. It sounds very evolved. Off to visit your blog.
Laura it’s so exciting to see A Spy Like Me popping up all over Bloglandia.
Those are some of the reasons I like hanging out in Europe. Thanks for sharing, Creepy!
Dang! I’m totally ready to move to France now! Being paid to be a stay-at-home mom? That’s beyond awesome!!
Wow very cool. There are a few things here that I never expected. For example, I figured keeping weight down would be impossible with all that awesome food. 🙂
How fascinating! I love the idea of a parent getting paid to stay home with their children. Wish I could have gotten a reimbursement for that. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. Some very cool things about French culture I didn’t know.
Ah, makes me want to go to Paris ASAP. Very interesting. Thanks Katie for for the highlights.
Thanks Laura for the series. 🙂