Today is July 14th, and for the French, that means Bastille Day. Like birthdays are special days to show people how much you love them, I thought I’d make a list of what I love most about my country. I’ll leave the bad and the ugly for another post!
What I love about France
It’s simply amazing. And while you may say that some dishes are an acquired taste, like goose liver paté or tripes, the variety of it, and the fact that you can snack almost anywhere on delicious bread, cheese and wine makes it very special. Food is the first thing I miss when I’m away, after family and friends. I love how meals can take hours and include copious servings of wine, and how laughing and sharing is almost as important as the food itself. As shown in Mireille Guiliano’s book French Women Don’t Get Fat, we also eat a bit of everything, just a bit, and stay healthy, live longer and have less obesity than most country.
Some of the best as well. Healthcare is universal, anyone can get treated for free or a small fee. For example a root canal is not even $100 and 70% is covered, so you only shell out about $30. Every five years, you are entitled to a complete checkup for free, to make sure you are healthy.
In this article, Pamela Druckerman says that French parent mix flegm and discipline when it comes to raising children, in a way that Americans don’t. I like the way I was raised and am hoping to raise my children in a similar way.
I like that education is free for all, and that public schools have such an excellent level of academics, I like that college was free too and I was even able to graduate with savings!
It may seem cheesy, but having traveled to a lot of countries, I came to appreciate the freedom that I get in France, of walking where I please when I please, without fear of being robbed, assaulted or harassed, that is a luxury you don’t even think about when you have never left home.
Of people, of landscapes, of foods (seeing a trend?), the fact that you can have so many experiences in the same region and not having to travel hundreds of miles to see a change around you.
About the variety of people, I love the melting pot that France has become, welcoming so many nationalities, I feel that it is different from the US where Asian, Black, Latino communities, … keep each to themselves. In France people tend to mix more together and have a strong national identity.
To me, the most amazing, beautiful, interesting city in the world!