Perceptions of USA and a new President

Ok, so when you think of France what do you picture?  Maybe  Berets, cheese, wine, baguettes, or perhaps people smoking and sitting at cafes drinking coffee.  We all have stereotypes which are formed by publicity and the media.  Generally these are not always true, they are just clichés that we have been programmed to believe are true…which leads me into quite an interesting story.

The other day in one of my classes, we had a break half way through class(since the classes are 3 hours long) and I was having a conversation with several other students in my class and our professor.  We were talking about some recent French news, nothing really out of the ordinary when the student standing next to me said, “Ahh the American girl.  I have a question.  Is life different now that Barack Obama is president?”  At first I wasn’t sure what to say, but of course you wouldn’t be surprised to know that the French LOVE Obama.  They are so fascinated with him that in book stores there are whole sections of books about Barack Obama.  Anyway back to my story, I thought for a minute and I said, “Well personally for me life really isn’t different, but then if you think about it, when you get a new president of France, does your life really change?  Does it really affect your life personally?  When in reality it generally doesn’t.”   I was really caught off guard because I guess that is a legitimate question to ask if you have never lived in the United States, but once again it’s just another one of those cultural things.  Needless to say after he asked me that the entire group of people joined in on the conversation dissecting it and discussing, but the French are so passionate about Politics that I just let them talk.  The joy’s of being an American in a foreign country, but its always interesting!

Leave a Reply