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!