Around France

20 Things That Are So Odd In France

When American friends ask, “how’s life in France?” I have to be honest. I find there are some very odd things in France.

1: Cemeteries

Cemetery in France
Cemeteries in France are above the ground

2: Stairs

Narrow spiral staircases are everywhere
Narrow spiral staircases

3: Air conditioning


4: Fashion


“Bobo Chic” is in style

5: Hot chocolate


6: Coliseums 

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Arenas from the first century

7: Door locks


8: Manicures and pedicures 

Water-less manicures and pedicures
Water-less manicures and pedicures

9: Toilet paper holders



10: Flushing toilets


11: Washing machines 

Tiny washer and dryer all-in-one
Tiny washer and dryer all-in-one


12: Hard Water

Faucet head soaking in vinegar to remove calcium that clogs hot water
Faucet head soaking in vinegar to remove calcium that clogs hot water

13: Streets

Narrow streets
Narrow streets like this one in Uzès


14: Coffee

Coffee in tiny cups
Coffee in tiny cups


15: Rooftops

Rooftops in Uzes
Rooftops in Uzes

16: Street Signs

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17: Crepes

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18: Carousels


19: Wine caves

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20: Public toilets


 Yes, there are odd things in France.

That’s why I love it!


11 replies »

  1. Definitely the washing machine! And, as for air conditioning, we always think of European countries as “first world” until we are there in a heat wave!

    • I’m so ready to have an air conditioner right now. Except it’s lovely cool at night. Guess a little heat wave once in awhile is little to pay for this life! Thanks for your comment, David!

  2. Last time I was in Paris with friends, we came up against the French washer/dryer with instructions in French. We are still laughing about the 6 hour wash because we kept starting over thinking we had done something wrong.

    • So funny, Paula, because I haven’t even tried the dryer component lately. I’ve forgotten how it works! And you’re right, I’ll end up washing the clothes 3-4 times before I get it right! Too bad I can’t read the instructions!

  3. What wonderful pictures! I love the narrow winding streets, but I always wonder what happens if one needs a new refrigerator or sofa delivered!?

    • Such a good question, Barbara. The delivery people were able to bring mine up the narrow staircase because they are pretty small appliances. But I have seen trucks parked along these narrow streets with a delivery man hanging out of a window above and another man hoisting the appliance/furniture up to him on a rope. I think the French invented “determination”.

  4. Dear Déborah

    Love this one too — particularly the photo of the coffee cup. I know exactly where it is, and it’s always a pleasure to see a ‘Bagnols-sur-Cèze’ traffic sign.

    bises et à bientôt



  5. DEBORAH what a great contrast and perhaps that is the reason that I love so much over here. A great way to show France in all its glory and all the interesting things one encounters while traveling and living in France.

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