Baiser anyone?

I had the honour and privilege of living in France for a year. I came out of the whole experienced a lot more enriched, with plenty of funny stories to share.

I remember being slapped when I was there because of the word “baiser”. A tricky word indeed, because if used as a noun, it means “to kiss” and if used as a verb, it means “Sleep together” to put it politely. You learn quickly.

Other random titbits – In France, driving test results are only released once you go home due to some very angry Frenchmen beating up the driving instructors after an unfavourable result. Also, if you had a few too many drinks and are riding home on a bicycle, the police are allowed to stop you and breathalyse you. I lived by the rule that I only stopped if they have cars / horses / bicycles… if they were on foot – I burn rubber.

There is nothing the French enjoy more than a good strike. What is hilarious is that the strike only lasts one day – a lot of table thumping, cheering, poster raising, fireworks… and then its back to work the next day. Funny thing is they recruit people in the street to join the cause. If you have nothing better to do, you could always join a protest you know nothing about. I did, briefly – was good fun until armed police showed up and I disappeared into a darkened ally and pretended to be admiring the brick colour. I asked my lecturer the next day if there was still a strike and she looked at me like I had just asked her gran out on a date and said “Of course not! That was yesterday”. Ah.

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