I wanted to share some funny stories, but also useful things I learned on my first international excursion. Y’all have to promise to keep in mind that I am just a gal from southern Illinois while I share these though because who knows, you might already know them! My husband did know some of them since he’s traveled in Europe previously.
You need to grab your ticket back out of the train ticket-taker.
As we drug our luggage through the train station and I tried to maneuver it through a person-sized aisle, I stuffed my ticket in the little slot. As I shoved it the rest of the way through the train aisle, someone tapped me on my shoulder and gave me my ticket. I thought they were just being nice, but it turns out it was really just because they couldn’t put their ticket through until I took mine out, lol. My husband said “oh yeah, I forgot you didn’t know that” when it happened. 🙂
France doesn’t believe in using air conditioning.
Yes, what you are reading is correct. No matter where we went, there was little to no air conditioning. I don’t know how they wear such fashionable clothing and look so cute without sweating completely through their clothes, guys.
It is something I was the most shocked about being there. I was not mentally or physically prepared to sweat my ass off for 7 days straight. I did not pack the amount of clothing or bras necessary for this either.
My husband says it’s something about conserving energy. Well, I think it’s just plain crazy and I was a little mad he left this out of the things he told me about visiting there. I can’t blame it all on him because he said it must’ve been cooler there when he went last time. However, I made a conscious effort after the second day there to deal with it and by the middle of our vacation, I was actually adapting a little bit even, lol. We used the hotel’s laundry service in the middle of our trip to ensure we had enough clothes to finish out the trip since we would literally sweat through our clothing. These people didn’t even use air conditioning in their cars, it was crazy y’all. Actually one of the craziest things we saw and still laugh about is when we saw a lady in a sock hat and coat when it was 85 outside. REAL. LIFE.
You will always wonder if you are supposed to seat yourself at a cafe or not.
I’m still not clear on when I’m supposed to seat myself somewhere and when I’m not. Sometimes we seated ourselves and it was fine. Other times we seated ourselves and they would move us. Sometimes we went inside because we had given up on trying to seat ourselves and we made them sit us somewhere. They would often ask us outdoor or indoor and I thought this was funny given the fact that every window is open and sitting inside is essentially like sitting outside (see air conditioning fact above, lol).
Some cafe waiters will chase you away if you only want to drink there.
We seated ourselves at a cafe near our hotel one afternoon (mistake #1, see above) and the waiter promptly asked us if we were just having drinks or eating also. We said just having drinks and he frankly told us we couldn’t do that and we needed to go if that was our plan. We laughed it off as we left, wondering why he ever asked us if we were only wanting drinks in the first place.
Good luck finding a bathroom to use.
The bathroom situation leaves a lot to be desired in France. You either cannot find one or it’s the smallest room you’ve ever been in your life. Our hotel room literally had a room with a toilet only in it that was smaller than the closet I had as a child growing up. Why not just put the toilet in the rest of the bathroom?
One of my favorite bathroom stories from France is a bar bathroom I went in because I was about to die, and the entire thing was covered, and I mean COVERED, in mirrors. File ‘going to the bathroom’ under things I don’t want to see myself doing. My husband had a good laugh about that one.
I’d love to hear an unexpected experience you had in France, leave it in the comments!
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