Sunday, December 02, 2007

Cultural differences I cannot explain

1) Why do the French love pink toilet paper? It's everywhere. Even people you wouldn't expect to have pink toilet paper have it, like my down-to-earth mother-in-law.

2) Why do all French babies seem to have little toy giraffes? Most are cheap plastic, but some are plush toys. I think giraffes are more common than teddy bears. My husband doesn't remember any popular television show or cartoon character that could account for this.

Meanwhile, I was reminded on a trip to IKEA today just how creepy it is that IKEA stores are identical the world over. And how do they invent those cheerful Swedish names for all their products? Do they sound stupid yet not improbably ridiculous in all languages, or just in English and in French?

1 comment:

Isabelle said...

Dear Parisienne, I'm new to your blog and reading your posts from the start, that's why I'm commenting quite late on this one!
As for the pink toilet paper, it's true that you find it everywhere and I wish we had more choice because I hate pink toilet paper!!!
More interesting for you I guess: the giraffe that all French babies own is called Sophie la girafe, and has been around forever. It's a tradition (maybe more particularly with "old families") to offer a girafe Sophie to a baby. Here is a link to the manufacturer who makes Sophie la girafe: