A lot of people have preconceived notions about France and its people. In the states, we hear rumors of the French being snobby and rude and so on and so on. Whatever. I believe there are cultural differences everywhere, even within the same state and the same country. I've only been to France once, and I had not one single bad experience (unless you count being a little annoyed by one or two of the girls on the trip with my French class now and then...). I tried to speak French at all times when dealing with a French person and absolutely no one was the least bit impolite.
The food was fabulous. I've come to realize that a nation's food has a great impact on me. One of the things I miss the most about Australia is the food. And in France, the sandwiches at the GAS STATION were unbelievably delicious. How often have you Ever wanted to eat anything from a gas station in the US??
Obesity is increasing everywhere, they say, but I'm sure the problem can't be so bad in places like Europe where they aren't Quite as obsessed with buying people's souls with the use of advertising, sugar, pseudo-sugar, high fructose corn syrup, monoglycerides, partially hydrogenated oils, preservatives, etc, etc, etc... (as you can see, this is a pet peeve of mine).
People tend to (at least from what I can see) have a bit more style. Dressing is fun over there. People seem to relish it more. Here (pardon me if I begin to sound the snob, myself, maybe I am one, please forgive me) wearing clothes seems to be a trial and a chore. There seems to be less personality in it, less general enjoyment.
The language is beautiful, and there seems to be (perhaps this is a very silly, naïve opinion...but I am good at those) an attitude of "what the hell, you only live once." I feel like there is still an echo or Puritanism around every corner here, and though I am Not a Puritan (haha) it affects how I see myself.
Movies. Jeunet's Amélie and A Very Long Engagement. Faurez's La Vie en Rose and Ozon's 8 Women.
I've seen other French films but I think those are the Current favorites. I recently re-watched 8 Women and it is just as crazy as I remembered. The colors are Gorgeous, and the sets and costumes mingle so perfectly. Mmmm. It's a delight to the eyes. Here is Fanny Ardant being fabulous. I want her costume. And to look that amazing at fifty.