Americans drink excessive amounts of water
While at dinner with a friend in St.-Germain-des-Pres, I pointed out that I had finished my glass of lukewarm tap water and no one had refilled it. (In the States, a back waiter would’ve refilled the glass twice already.) She laughed and explained that Americans are notorious in Paris for over-hydrating (see: gallon challenge). Apparently, toting a water bottle like a handbag (Nalgene flexing) is a dead giveaway that you hail from the US of A -- as is compulsively requesting water refills and blaming any/all maladies on inadequate water intake.
They rest their phones face-up on the dinner table
You shouldn’t do it in Philly, you shouldn’t do it in Peoria, and you really shouldn’t do it in Paris, where dining out still maintains an elevated, almost sacred tone. Once, while eating with three friends at a small bistro (no more than four tables) in the Montmartre neighborhood, my phone rang. Naturally, it was lying face-up on the tabletop beside my silverware. I shut it off quickly, before noting that everyone else seated at my table had their phones out as well -- and that the rest of the tiny restaurant’s patrons were all looking at us disapprovingly.
“Don’t worry,” the waiter said when I apologized. “At least you haven’t asked for the Wi-Fi password.”
They ask for the Wi-Fi password. Immediately.
If you can’t survive a Wednesday without checking on your friends’ Instagram stories, you might as well consider never traveling ever again. Apparently we Americans, more than any other tourists, equate cell phones with lifelines.
They harbor dainty misgivings about day-drinking, yet imbibe like college girls the moment the sun goes down
Parisians indulge in moderation. They consume (with frequency) extraordinarily rich desserts, gluten-heavy pastries, and best of all, midday alcohol. It is standard for Parisians to lunch over beers or pop out of the office for an afternoon pick-me-up (wine) without disrupting their routines. Americans, on the other hand, are known for starving themselves till they binge -- “Just one drink” is not a popular mantra in the States.
“It’s like if Americans start drinking midday, you can’t stop again until you go to bed,” one bartender explained to me. “They either refuse to drink until the sun goes down, or they start pounding shots back-to-back.”