Cultural Differences: Screens

So screens on windows just don’t exist in France. For someone who has an irrational fear of bugs that sting, this is a big problem. I don’t like to keep the windows open even when it’s warm outside because I hate how many bugs get in the apartment, and also because I’m afraid the cat will jump out and die (we live on the 4th floor / 3ème étage). So imagine my excitement when I found a moustiquaire at Gifi for only 4 €. However, the French definition of screen is this:

Cloth netting and velcro! woohoo!

You stick the velcro on the outside of the window frame, and attach the netting to it. Easy, right? Well, not so easy when you can’t go outside and push on the netting. I had to bunch it up and fold it over to get it to stick, so I hope that it holds. We can no longer close the shutters, but at least it’s keeping the bugs out!


I know it won’t hold if Canaille decides to jump since he’s kinda heavy (he’s not fat, he just has a big belly!) but at least it gives him something to watch at night when the bugs are clinging to the netting and trying to get in.

He doesn’t look too fat, does he?
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  • Justin

    He is definitely not too fat… You need to see mine!

    That looks wonderful but just would not work in my case. I am my own worst enemy and have been letting mine sit on the outside ledge of my window for a while now (only a 10 meter drop)… so now if I put up a VELCRO screen, he would tear through it in a second. So far the ‘all natural’ plug-in thing I bought seems to be working well for keeping out the mosquitoes, but I did find a nice flying-crawly thing yesterday in my apartment.

  • Justin

    He is definitely not too fat… You need to see mine!That looks wonderful but just would not work in my case. I am my own worst enemy and have been letting mine sit on the outside ledge of my window for a while now (only a 10 meter drop)… so now if I put up a VELCRO screen, he would tear through it in a second. So far the ‘all natural’ plug-in thing I bought seems to be working well for keeping out the mosquitoes, but I did find a nice flying-crawly thing yesterday in my apartment.

  • Andromeda

    Ben’s response to why there are no screens:

    When I open the window, I want to be able to stick me head out to see what the weather’s like.

    ?!?!?

    My Frenchman is nuts and your cat is adorable!

  • Andromeda

    Ben’s response to why there are no screens:When I open the window, I want to be able to stick me head out to see what the weather’s like.?!?!?My Frenchman is nuts and your cat is adorable!

  • L

    B’s grandparents have screens, but if I remember correctly, they are retractable, like the blinds that roll up and down. I think there was a wooden frame on the bottom that you pull down on, and the screen is attached to a tube at the top. I can’t remember if they use the screens much. They use their mechanized shutters more.

  • L

    B’s grandparents have screens, but if I remember correctly, they are retractable, like the blinds that roll up and down. I think there was a wooden frame on the bottom that you pull down on, and the screen is attached to a tube at the top. I can’t remember if they use the screens much. They use their mechanized shutters more.

  • Leah

    Ugh, I hate buggies especially stinging ones(I once got stung on my eye by a bee, that was fun to look like Quasimodo.) I hope your screens work, I wish real screens existed here!

    PS-Canaille isn’t fat…I think he has the same body as Sienna with her big bide.

  • Leah

    Ugh, I hate buggies especially stinging ones(I once got stung on my eye by a bee, that was fun to look like Quasimodo.) I hope your screens work, I wish real screens existed here!PS-Canaille isn’t fat…I think he has the same body as Sienna with her big bide.

Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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