The biggest thing I found difficult to get used to here was the absolute lack of personal space but the utmost, rigid sense of privacy. How is it that the French function by getting so close to another`s face but saying absolutly nothing of depth? For example, the bise. This is the kissing on the cheek that so many americans find not only uncomfortable, but disgusting. They kiss you and you barely know them, if at all. In America, its absolutely necessary to know someone well before you try anything like this, but here its absolutely normal to do this even on the first meeting as long as you are introduced by another person. They do it in the store, the home, the restaurant, even the workplace. But after the two/three/four kisses (depending where you are and how well you know them° conversation ensues. The French are very private, so any early conversations with them, especially adults, is difficult. You will leave the conversation with absolutley nithing new about the person. You know how their day was and how the person down the hall from them was dressed, but their likes, dislikes, histories, expereinces, etc are sill mysteries. And this can go on for a while until they feel they know you well enough. And forget about their homes! They are almsot sacred, and even if you are living with them, they are still very uncomfortable and nervous about you in certain rooms. Some people I know weren`t even allowed into the rest of the house by some unspoken, unconcious rule of privacy. And the bise isn`t all. When they are talking to you, they will deliberatly put themselves very close to you for two reasons: 1) they are used to the tight, cramped, crowed spaces of Europe and 2)v they are trying not to talk loud enough to be overheard or be a nuisance. They hate loudness and they love the privacy of their own conversations. Never easedrop in France because if you are caught, its a big taboo. I think that is why they have such a hard time accepting Americains. We are the exact oposite. We love hugs and can be friendly and open, even with strangers, but we are very uncomfortable with physical closeness, a throwback to our puritanical origins. So while the food, the fashion, and the cold were difficult to get used to, you could learn to just eat the food presented and learn to like it, buy something black, and put on a coat so no one could see your fashion because you weren`t going to take it off all day any way. For me, it was and still is the strangness of opposite comfort zones that throws me off when I meet those new faces.