France is pretty lit – Austin & Satinder
Coming to France as been, as you would expect, a radical change for everyone on trip and there are a fair amount of things that really strike us as different from what we are used to in the U.S. The first of these is the fact that there are very few cars in Montpellier compared to a town like Cambridge or Boston. Instead, there is the wonderful tram system and a bountiful amount of motorcycles and scooters. It is actually pretty common to see one of these making its way through the bustle of people in la Place de la Comédie or on a side street. The lack of large vehicles actually makes for a more tranquil atmosphere. It’s lovely!
The second large difference is the look of the people in Montpellier. There is the stereotype of Europeans being well-dressed and that is absolutely true in Montpellier! Everyone here always looks good and has a great fashion sense. The population of Montpellier is also in remarkably good shape. Coming from the U.S. where weight problems are so common I didn’t even think about the fact that France may be different, and it is; I don’t think I have seen one obese or severely overweight person here. This may because of their lifestyle, genetics, smoking, or an array of other things. The reason that I bring up smoking is because nearly everyone in Montpellier smokes cigarettes or uses a form of e-cigarette. Because smoking causes weight loss it may be a contributor to the physique we’ve seen; but then again correlation isn’t always causation.
One last thing that I found to be surprising is how absolutely stunning the southern french countryside is and how many farms it contains. The mountains are perforated with small towns, farms, or clusters of houses. The road to Avignon today was filled with gorgeous farmland and from the Palais des Papes the Alps could easily be seen in the distance with many red roofed towns and green hills sitting in front of it.
Truly, the trip thus far has been an amazing experience. I am excited to where our next adventures take us, both physically and mentally. We have been here for about 10 days, and I have already seen lots of change in my French grammar, speaking skills, general attitude/behavior, thinking process, and more. I hope this trip continues to amaze us!