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The cultural shock is here, on this website!

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The cultural shock is here, on this website!

Postby ledamien » Fri Jul 24, 2009 11:04 pm

Hello, allow me to introduce myself, Damien, 33, French citizen, Permanent Resident in the US, married to an American and father of an adorable little girl. I'm also a student, and I have been here in the heartland of America (Kansas) for two years. I'm still coping with cultural shocks on a weekly basis.
For example, today, reading a review on the IMDB, I read a funny comment, followed a link and here I am, scratching my head.
What are you people talking about ? Is this online dating ? Traveling abroad ? Cultural criticism ? Anti-feminist rant ?

Let me organize my ideas.
As I said, I come from France and live in the US. I love both of these countries. Ideally, I would yet prefer another country, where the workplace, male colleagues, 24/7 supermarkets and hamburgers would be American, and the (other) food, pedestrian streets, female colleagues and health care system would be French.

So, being a foreigner married to an American, I guess I would be able to speak about my experiences with females from France and the US. Hint: I married a girl from the latter.
Girls and women from both countries bear surprising similarities. They generaly both have two eyes, two legs, two arms, and when there proportions match certain types, they are generally followed by salivating men. No offense, I have a tendency to salivate myself.
Then, cultural differences kick in, and generalizations can be made. Still, do not turn generalizations into common sense, that would be a deadly mistake, especially if you plan to actually go abroad...
I would sum up these generalizations likewise:

American:
General behavior:
Formal at the workplace (oh these awkward moments when I wanted to kiss my female colleagues on both cheeks in the morning...), repeat the sentence "that is inappropriate" in extenso (but that may be just me). On the other hand, can get excited quickly over anything (a new colleague, a new floral setting, a new copy machine) in a kind of creepy way (shouting "ah" although we're inside a building, laughing for no reason, saying "that's awesome" and "that's so great" repetitively). In short, they are nice to work with, as long as it is by email.
Outside of the workplace, they remain nice on the surface, and, well, under a surface is a place they seldom open. Can choose their type of casual dressing in a deliciously inappropriate way. In the student population, the examples are deep cleavages, short dresses, tight shirts, things that would be saved for nights out in my own culture.
In general, American women (as well as men in my opinion) are nice people, but hard to befriend with. I come from a culture of shades of grey. A culture of black and white, where some things are deemed appropriate while other are not by strict rules, is a hard fit for me. Still, I hope I will decipher the social ways of American in the years to come. Or keep hanging out with foreigners to enjoy some "Cheeseburgers" bashing...

Dating
Well, my experience is only one person, the one I married, but I understood over the years that she is fairly typical. Nice at first. Passionate after a while. Interestingly, when they want you, they do not hesitate to let you know. But way too formal (eg: marriage). Has a list of rules on how life should be and how social behavior should be. Likes to make lists. Extremely jealous (although she should not, I consider cheating to be a coward act, and I'm not a coward). Kind of manipulative for the sake of concepts such as couple, family, etc.

To sum up:
Nice, easily excited, formal, formal and formal.

French:
General behavior:
Act and behave roughly the same on any occasion: friendly, seductive, no visible boundaries. Was born with the manipulation gene, for her own sake. Consciously acts differently whether she interacts with a man or a woman, even if nothing in the situation justifies adaptation. Living in a culture of shades of gray, they may surprise you with there behavior, but do not get fooled. Interpretation is the key. You need to be constantly aware of what is happening, why it is happening, and how it is happening. The concept of second degré may save you from making an ass of yourself. As a rule of thumb, just remember that stories like those happening in porn movies are usually inappropriate all around the world.
Always dress appropriately, with different levels of sexiness (somewhat suggestive to bewitching). My wife was always stunned by her friends ability to prepare a dinner, get make up and dressed in a nice dress in less than half an hour, without a hint of stress.

Dating:
You want to try it ? Good luck. Aside from not having such useful concept as "dating" (we consider this concept unromantic: what happen happens, what doesn't don't, just live with your doors opened), my experience with enough different girls / women allows me to sum up what a relationship with a French girl is to this: passionate. This includes arguments, fights, multiple break ups, and, if you get lucky, good sex. If it does not drive you crazy, it may kill you. If you survive, you may learn to not take things too seriously afterwards. If the relationship stands the test of the time, you may have earned your best, irreplaceable enemy.

To sum up:
I married an American.

An interesting pattern emerges from these portraits: women and girls are difficult. I don't think that it's their fault, though. Love is difficult. It takes time, confidence, a little bit of self awareness, a good chunk of attention and a topping of luck. The only definitive way I found to "pick up girls" was to be nice, attentionate, and to let life happen, not to make it happen. I also understood that picking up girls is not about a score or an annual average, but a way to find the proverbial good one, the one to connect with, share at least a part of your life. Maybe, after a while, make a baby. That's all right to. Especially because a baby knows how to teach true, real love.

Now, coming back to this website purpose, I hope that my descriptions where useful (or at least funny) for most of you.
Are you looking to get laid ? Well, leaving the computer screen would be a good start. Going abroad would be a good thing as well, an American accent bears enough charm to power Paris for a year. Actually, I think the world would be a better place if everybody was marrying a foreigner.
Tired about feminism ? Well, how do you define feminism ? If it's the angry anti-waxing crowd, I'm with you, but they are fortunately rare. But I happen to be friend with a teacher of, cough, feminism, and she appears to be normal, she doesn't mind my sometimes inappropriate jokes about her not-so-accidental cleavages, and she seems to enjoy a healthy, enjoyable relationship with her boyfriend.
If what you call feminist is the girl who does not find your jokes funny at the bar, well, you may have a problem here. Seduction is all about playing, and it's fun only if everybody is playing. If she is not in the mood for a game, just move on...
Looking for a cheap shot ? Well, that's the best way to not get any. You may have more luck if you took knitting classes. And I'm not kidding, actually...

So, am I in the right place to talk about these things ? Because the pictures of half naked girls and some links to conspiracy theories can be misleading. That's an understatement...

Anyway, go abroad. Especially mid august - september in France. It's grapes harvesting season. Lots of girls from all over the world (especially eastern European countries for some unknown reason) in common dormitories and lots of good wine involved. My brother met his Canadian girlfriend that way.
ledamien
Freshman Poster
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:23 pm
Location: Manhattan, Kansas







too many naked girls. too many tits. too many ass.

Postby ErthernetGuy » Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:10 am

Actually, I think the world would be a better place if everybody was marrying a foreigner.


I agree 100% with that. It would force people to think twice about most of their beleifs.

Because the pictures of half naked girls and some links to conspiracy theories can be misleading. That's an understatement...


Yes, there are too many half naked girls on this web site. It tends to block the upper brain. It tends to trigger the brain that is located in the pans of men. But is that part of the male body supposed to be used for reasoning??? :twisted: Some people say that it is dangerous to use it for that purpose. :wink:


I am French. I live in Paris, France.

I once had a GF who was Russian and who had lived in the USA. She had misconceptions from both countries: USA and Russia. In the begining, I was attracted to her because of that. In the end, it really got on my nerves. But I think that generalising from a single example is wrong. Every girl is unique. It is not a good idea to overgeneralise.
ErthernetGuy
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Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 11:50 am
Location: Paris, France

Postby Winston » Sat Aug 08, 2009 3:41 pm

Greetings Damien. Or should I say "Bonjour"?

Sorry for my belated greeting.

So how did you end up in Kansas? Must be boring as hell for you there. And isn't it frustrating for you that people there know nothing about your country or the rest of the world? Do you get along with hillbillies ok?

And how did you end up marrying an American?

Have you seen this collection of quotes I collected from foreigners and immigrants about America? See it and let me know if you agree with it.

http://www.happierabroad.com/ebook/Page32.htm

So anyway, you find this website to be a culture shock? Why? Have you only been exposed to politically correct information all your life? I thought that the French media, I heard, was intellectual?

Your descriptions of American vs. French people and culture were fairly accurate and observant.

But which culture do you find to be more fun and enjoyable?

I did not know that an American accent is considered attractive to a French woman. I have never heard that one yet. I thought the French look down on the Americans as uncultured? Why would an American accent be attractive to them?

Anyone can say get off the computer and take knitting classes will get you dates. If it was that easy, every dateless guy in the US would be doing it. Look at reality please. Most guys here know that just going out or taking knitting classes, cooking classes, yoga classes or swing dance classes isn't going to accomplish anything because the reality is that if you are not her type, then it won't matter how many girls you've met. I put myself in many situations to meet girls in the US, thousands of times, but if they all make excuses not to spend time with you, then you've gained nothing.

And that's exactly what happened to me. Simple solutions like that do not really work. Otherwise there would not be a PUA industry here or sites like sosuave.com or the David DeAngelo shit.

Why don't you read my loneliness story and tell me what "simple solutions" would have worked for me?

http://www.happierabroad.com/Loneliness_Story.htm

Thanks and Welcome,
Winston
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

Don't forget my HA Grand Ebook and Dating Sites!

"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
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Winston
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Re: too many naked girls. too many tits. too many ass.

Postby Winston » Sat Aug 08, 2009 3:46 pm

Because the pictures of half naked girls and some links to conspiracy theories can be misleading. That's an understatement...


What is wrong with those things? Only a few posters have avatars of half naked girls. And besides, I thought you liked shades of gray and didn't like black and white standards of appropriateness?

BTW, are French girls generally approachable in public? Are they easy to chat up? Or are they polite and keep a distance like US and Canadian women generally do?
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

Don't forget my HA Grand Ebook and Dating Sites!

"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
User avatar
Winston
Site Admin
 
Posts: 23602
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 1:16 pm


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