Travel

What French people really think of the US

The French have a lot of things to explain to us about Paris, but turns out they also have a lot of things to explain to us about... erm... us.

Under the working theory that stereotypes are fantastic, we sat down with a bunch of true-blue young Frenchies (who, in a shocking twist, actually don't mind that nickname) to find out exactly what they think of their frenemies across the pond. Among them: a music writer, a Parliamentary assistant, a librarian, a marketing manager, a social advocate, and a photo technician, all with well-formed (if not well-informed) opinions on American culture, politics, and people.

After several bottles of cheap rosé and at least 17 baguettes, we were left this:

On Food

"This Girl Scout cookie (Ed note: it was a Samoa) looks like fried chicken. Gateau au poulet."

"There are shops just for cheesecake!"

"They’re always drinking out of those red cups. Communist cups."

"America is entirely pictures of chicken wrapped in bacon."

"Onion rings are a good thing."

"Restaurant servers are really nice."

"There is a food hypocrisy. Someone will go into a restaurant and not eat the yellow of the eggs because they think it’s unhealthy, but then drink a huge soda."

"Waka Flocka once tweeted when he was in France with a hashtag about French food but he was at Flunch or something. That’s really funny."

"They love kale!"

On Pop Culture

"Everyone in NY watches Friends and as you progress down South everyone watches Nascar and is in love with Chuck Norris."

"Commercials in the United States are always yelling at me."

"Spring Break woo woo girls… a girl gets a new boyfriend… woo woo girls, you know?"

"There is a weird balance between really religious people and Spring Break."

"You have great sports. Except American football. And baseball. Okay, I just like the NHL and basketball."

"In fact, it’s a little bit like a teen movie. The athlete, the popular pretty girl…"

"Bros are scary."

On Geography

"There are reasonable Americans… and then there are Texans."

"California is stupid, superficial, and exercise too much."

"I know that LA... I think I hate it."

"Clément is afraid of rednecks but he probably prefers them over people from LA."

"Miami is where you go to die."

"We would prefer to have Canada instead of Belgium because they are French but they succeeded."

"They don’t know how to use roundabouts."

"If a French person talks to an American, we will say France is the best place. But if we speak to another French person, we will both agree that France sucks."

On Politics

"Obama plays basketball. That's pretty cool."

"We don’t like Americans because they are stronger than us, which is why we like Charles de Gaulle because he told them to go back home."

"I feel superior because I actually know who their president is."

"Americans forget all the help they got from France. They don’t talk about Lafayette enough."

"George Bush has too much self-confidence with this new painting thing."

On Work

"If you have an idea in the US, you are sure it will work everywhere in the world even if you’ve never traveled outside of your country."

"Americans need to be reassured of their capacity to be productive by laughing at French laziness."

"All truck drivers wear Jack Daniel’s baseball hats."

"Americans like to be proud of how much they work but it’s inefficient."

"In France, we choose life over work. We also choose strikes over work, but Americans work too much."

"Get rich or die tryin'."

General Impressions

"Cowboys!"

"Americans love old school French actors but those actors represent France from 40 years ago, not what it is today."

"Everything is bigger. Every subject is a big drama. Everything they want to build is huge."

"American girls are drama queens, but French girls pretend they don’t care. Not sure which is worse."

"Really nice, really kind, really superficial."

"They hug too much."

"Diners, milkshakes, and nuclear families."

"The different things in America fascinate me. Like how anyone can carry a gun."


Carrie Dennis is a Staff Writer for Thrillist Media Group and a committed Francophile, despite their constant griping. Follow her on Twitter @CarrrieDennnis.