Now that my time in Paris has concluded, I have seen multiple instances where it would make people go “WHAT?!”. In fact, our school ESCE knew and even acknowledged how weird France can be, to the point where they opened a contest called “WTF: What The France!”. For it, we could submit pictures of unusual moments and things we encountered during our time in France. Here are some of my funny encounters:
First was the random baguette in the street. I saw this during our first day of class, during our excursion. It was quite funny since that was a full baguette, uneaten, just chillin’ in a window in the middle of a main road. It looked like an empty house, and there was no one around it keeping an eye on it. It just made me wonder why? And what could be wrong with this perfectly looking baguette?
Second interesting sighting was a man just carrying around his little birds in the metro. I have noticed in Paris vs. Philadelphia is that I have never seen a pet on the SEPTA, while here, it seems quite common to bring your dog around, but this was actually my first time seeing birds on the metro.
Last but not least, was my dinner at a Japanese restaurant near my apartment. At first glance, it looks like a normal dessert menu with yummy dishes. However, if you look closely, you will notice something unusual. There is actually a picture of two dogs at the bottom of the menu, which at first gives the impression that they serve dogs as dessert.
The friend I was with at the moment mentioned that it could be cakes shaped into dogs which could make sense, but in reality, it was just a picture of dogs that just happened to be placed there. This was actually the picture I submitted for the contest, and I won that specific category (there were three categories in total)! The prize was an ESCE hoodie which is surprisingly nice and soft.
There were countless more times where our group encountered similar situations where everyone was taken aback by people and circumstances. That being said, it’s all part of the experience of being abroad. A huge aspect of it is being open-minded and not judgey since you never know what someone might be going through. There were for sure many ‘WTFrance’ moments, but that just shows that every city has their own peculiarities that make them fun and unique. My time here definitely taught me to give people the benefit of the doubt and just enjoy what is happening around me.
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