Culture Magazine

How American Am I?

By Sedulia

Susan-NYC-flickr

Living in Paris for so long, I have adopted many Parisian habits. Sometimes it's hard for me to know now which of my behaviors are me, which are French, and which are American.
In small-town Colorado, where I am right now, I have come to realize that certain things I'm used to just won't do. For example, people here have a much bigger "personal space" bubble around themselves than Parisians or even New Yorkers do. Going in and out the door to the post office here, I notice that everyone holds the door for the next person to arrive, even if that means standing there while an old person struggles slowly up the steps. How polite! But even when going down the outside steps-- which are about six feet wide within the railings-- sometimes people stand aside and wait for the first person to go down before they go up. Very un-Parisian! 


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