What we can learn from France

The United States is a great country, but after spending 10 days on a whirlwind trip across France, here are a few areas where the USA can learn a thing or two.

In France, tips are not expected, even at full service restaurants. In the United States, the tipping culture has gotten out of hand. Its gone way beyond wait staff at full service restaurants, today we see tip jars popping up all over the place. I’m a generous tipper, but things are out of control. Employees are getting underpaid, and consumers are expected to fill up the gap.

alex driving
I was amazed how well motorists behave on the highway in France. First off, nobody clogs up the left lane. Everybody moves immediately to furthermost right lane when not executing a pass on the highway. Nobody passes on the right hand side.

After driving over 2500 miles, I was shocked how smooth the highways are in France. Literally, I did not hit a pothole of significance during the whole trip. I don’t know what the French are doing differently, but their roads are clearly superior, and I didn’t see much construction going on during our trip.

Gas Station Coffee

In the United States, if you want drinkable coffee you are forced to go do a dedicated coffee house. Gas stations and rest stops have horrible coffee. I’m sorry folks, but Wawa and Sheetz have shitty coffee. Donut shops have shitty coffee. In France, every rest stop has automated espresso machines that make decent coffee. Its not great, but its way better than anything in a gas station in the USA.

There is great food in the USA, but its not the norm. You can easily have a bad food experience. Its hard to have a bad food experience in France, especially if you avoid the touristy sections.

  • Eric Donnelly

    In regards to tipping in France I’ve heard being a full time waiter is a career path almost. Tipping is an insult to their profession. I’d be reluctant to find a person who wanted to be a professional waiter as their career in the US.