1. Motorcycle cars- super weird/ awesome cars made by BMW I've never seen one in the US.
2. Chicken flavored potato chips- (made by Lay's) these things freak me out. They taste like delicious well- seasoned homemade chicken breast but all packed in a crunchy potato chip. They taste good but I just can't eat them regularly, sorry... Too weird for me. (I bet you've never heard me say that before!) The kids have created a song and dance for these chips. It involves them folding and flapping their arms like wings and singing "chicken-chips, chicken-chips" for as long as they can until they fall out laughing.
3. Meat sauce flavored potato chips- I was so freaked out by the chicken chips that I have yet to try these. From what I'm told they taste exactly like tomato sauce and ground beef! Lays's potato chips must have Chris Angel or some other magician putting these flavors into chips.
4. Electric rental cars- these cars are seen parked on most streets charging for their next renter. You go to the nearby rental booth, swipe your card and zoom away in your electric rental car.
5. Rental bikes- these bikes are lined up on a bike rack and one is released with each payment to the automatic machine. We see Parisiennes and tourist on them all over the city.
6. Round billboards- while we prefer straight lines in the US, France seems to have a thing for circles and curves. Take a look at the billboard below.
7. Winding roads- The aversion to straight lines doesn't end with billboards. Don't expect to look down a never ending straight street like in the US. You won't find that here. I have yet to see a square shaped block. Many blocks are triangles, hexagons, pentagons, or circles. Some corners intersect 5+ blocks. This set-up ensures that you always see fine architecture everywhere you look. It's beautiful!
8. Public toilets- Many shops don't allow you to go in to use the "toilette" but the city provides them free every few blocks or so. I've seen one in Atlanta's Piedmont Park, but there are many more here.
9. No golden arches?!- There are McDonald's here but they are pretty discreet. Look at this McDonald's that doesn't even have it's famous golden arches. We passed by it about 5 times before we realized that it was a Mickey-Ds!
10. Sex, sex, and more sex!- We haven't watched much tv here but when we do there is plenty of sex to be seen. We've seen what I can only describe as porn commercials with full blown nudity and sex acts, during the DAY!!!! I can hear my European friends laughing at me now, since this is no big deal to them. While walking in the Moulin Rouge area today the kids kept saying "sex shop, sex shop." as they read the store signs on the street. They had a discussion amongst themselves as to what could possibly be being sold at a sex shop, they concluded that in a sex shop you can purchase things for either boys or girl. Since one of the synonms for sex is gender this made perfet sense to them.
11. Street lights- they just don't shine on the street, they also have a light for the sidewalk.
12. Subway car door handles- The only doors on the train that open are the ones opened by the passengers themselves. Whatever door is open will automatically close before the train departs the station. I cannot tell you how many stops I've missed because I've forgotten to click the handle or push the button to get out of the train!
I hope you've found these interesting. There are many more difference that I didn't add but will probably do so in a separate post. These small things make traveling so interesting. I go from being an all-knowing savvy American girl at home, to becoming an awkward, confused, shocked American tourist abroad. These experiences also give me a sense of patience and compassion for other who visit or relocate to my country. I love it!
Electric rental cars
McDonalds sans golden arches
Zane looking at the "Pussy's" sign
Click this up to open the subway train door
Single passenger BMW
Double street and side walk light
free public- self cleaning restroom