This trip to France has taught me a lot. One thing that stands out is that Americans and the French have completely different standards when it comes to service. At home customer service is a top priority, but here you are left to fend for yourself. This isnâ€™t so hard to adjust to in a store but when eating at a restaurant and your drink has not been filled it becomes more irritating. In class this morning we discussed stereotypes and culture shock. This discussion has allowed me to look at situations in a new light. Just because things here arenâ€™t done the way Iâ€™m used to doesnâ€™t make it wrong or negative; just different.
I spent this past weekend in Paris. Paris is lovely! I enjoying climbing to the top of â€œle tour Eiffel,â€ the view was magnificent and what a workout! I am enjoying taking in the European architecture. I am preparing to leave France; we are visiting Amsterdam this weekend. I am curious to see how the culture of the Netherlands compares to that of France. This experience is opening my eyes to how norms between cultures can vary. I had a sandwich and a beverage in Subway and went to refill it, at the self service fountain, and was told that refills are not free. I didnâ€™t even think about it beforehand, the self service fountain communicated to me that I could help myself, like at home. Iâ€™ve been learning a lot and am becoming more cognizant of how the world views our behavior. Perhaps I appeared to be greedy for trying to steal another drink, when in fact I thought I was behaving in line.
In the upcoming weeks I plan to visit Brussels, Italy, and Spain. I know when I leave the comfort zone of languages I speak or am at least familiar with the cultural differences may be more difficult to understand. Despite this fact I anticipate the journey. I meant to mention before, I have had technical difficulties uploading photos; I would love to share them with you!