Spot the difference between Brits and Americans in France

Published:  23 Nov at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
France may well be crammed with British expats, but their American counterparts are more easily recognisable.

For decades, France has been known as a favourite for Britons looking for a safe, inexpensive retirement haven with a far friendlier climate and easy access to family in the UK. Brits still tend to congregate in communities, just as they did during the days of the British Empire’s hold over what seemed like half the world. However, it may come as a shock to some to find our American ‘cousins’ are equally fond of the opposite side of the English Channel.

Americans come in various shapes and usually larger sizes than their British counterparts, as well as being put into categories according to wealth, provenance and political leanings. Sounds familiar? The most important group – especially in their own eyes – is the ‘Elite’, composed of ex-embassy staff and movie celebrities who’ve given up on life in Hollywood. This fortunate few can be found sunning themselves on luxury yachts, restoring crumbling chateaux and eating anywhere there’s a Michelin-starred chef.

The ‘Gone Native’ American community in France can be spotted anywhere popular with the French themselves as they prefer not to socialise with their fellow Americans. All meals must be eaten with cheese, and harsh criticism of the Trump presidency causes intense embarrassment. Training at the gym and the average American’s obsession with ever increasing numbers of guns aren’t ever in their conversations as they simply don’t get it.

US expats who arrived never intending to stay for ever are the most interesting, as they’ve fallen in love with a French someone special as well as with the country. They speak the language, teach or do translations, hang out with their French friends as well as with their French partner and can be found actually befriending people from their land of birth.

The most difficult of the species to understand or have a conversation with is the US expat who can’t forget he’s an American. He wears American-style clothes, searches for American goodies in French stores, receives food parcels from his mother and talks just slightly too loudly. Starbucks is a favourite hangout, and French food is for sissies.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive