In 1907, French waiters went on strike for the right to have mustaches. In France prior to 1907, mustaches were a symbol of class and stature, while waiters were seen as lower class and thus – not mustache-worthy.
When France was occupied by the Germans in 1940, Citroen was forced to produce vehicles for the Nazis. They chose to move the fill line on their oil dipsticks lower, causing the trucks to seize under stress from low oil.
There is a small café in France that sells coffee to rude customers for €7 while polite customers get coffee for €1.40.
The term “silhouette” has a political backstory. King Louis XV’s General of Finances, Étienne de Silhouette, had a reputation for being cheap. Shadow portraits became popular during his tenure and got named after him due to being very cheap to make compared to commissioning a painting of oneself.
In France, it is illegal to to publish photographs of a handcuffed suspects, as they are not to appear guilty until proven so.
Japanese embassy in Paris has a 24 hour helpline, for their citizens who didn’t find Paris as expected. The French psychiatric journal Nervure cites the disappointment many visitors feel is caused by the over-romanticised expectations of Paris as a city of love, fashion, and glamorous people.
France owns a small island off the coast of Newfoundland that is entirely comprised of rock (St. Pierre). The streets are carved into the rock, and instead of cemeteries, inhabitants carved tombs into the island which are there to this day.
There is a grocery store named “Thanksgiving” in Paris that sells U.S. “cuisine” like Pop-Tarts, Heinz ketchup, and Skippy peanut butter to homesick ex-pats.
In 1997, a group of enthusiasts began building a castle in France, using only materials, tools and techniques available in the 13th century (800 years ago). The project is scheduled to be completed sometime in the 2020’s.
French preschools serve four-course lunches (including a cheese course) to educate them in taste and stimulate their senses.