This amuses me to no end.

The other night on TF1, the news mentioned Mike Huckabee’s win at the Iowa caucus. But they didn’t talk about his political positions or anything relevant to the election… no, no, they talked about how his home-state of Arkansas is one of ten states in the US that bans the sale of alcohol.

Except alcohol is not illegal everywhere in those states. There are a lot of dry counties in the south, but to say that the sale of alcohol is completely illegal is an exaggeration. But I guess the French will never understand the concept of making alcohol illegal when they drink wine at every meal and even serve it to teachers at public schools.

Here’s the video clip if you understand French.

I like the interview at a Kentucky distillery where an employee said he would get in trouble (and possibly even jail time) if he let the tourists touch or taste the bourbon. LOL Who the heck goes to a distillery as a tourist?

And you gotta love the Baptist preacher who said alcohol is the drink of the devil! Ooh, and notice the obligatory reference to Al Capone near the end. When French people think of the US, they think cowboys and gangsters. And how many Americans actually remember who Al Capone is or what he did? Besides the ones who saw The Untouchables?

Laws based on extreme religious views are never a good idea. Especially since dry counties actually have a higher number of alcohol-related traffic accidents! I may be against alcohol, and hate the way that French people judge me for not drinking alcohol, but seriously, the drink of the devil?

I’m always amused at French people’s reaction to Prohibition and the strict laws against drinking alcohol that still exist today. I just wish I could make them understand how religious the US still is, and how the separation of church and state doesn’t really exist like it should…

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  • Linda

    I’m often asked if I had a gun when I lived in the States. The French do have strange misconceptions of us but some of them are based on truth, such as puritanism. I know I’ve got it, especially when it comes to visiting the doctor or going to the beach. No way am I going topless.

  • Linda

    I’m often asked if I had a gun when I lived in the States. The French do have strange misconceptions of us but some of them are based on truth, such as puritanism. I know I’ve got it, especially when it comes to visiting the doctor or going to the beach. No way am I going topless.

  • Destination Metz

    That’s interesting that certain areas don’t have alcohol for religious reasons.. The only dry places in Aus are aboriginal communities, which have also had to introduce non sniffable petrol as well, it’s really sad that those kind of measures have to be taken, but I people forget alcohol is a drug and if some communities don’t want it in their town then I think that’s okay, it’s not affecting the whole country.

  • Destination Metz

    That’s interesting that certain areas don’t have alcohol for religious reasons..

    The only dry places in Aus are aboriginal communities, which have also had to introduce non sniffable petrol as well, it’s really sad that those kind of measures have to be taken, but I people forget alcohol is a drug and if some communities don’t want it in their town then I think that’s okay, it’s not affecting the whole country.

  • JP

    Ah that is humorous. I don’t think I can ever get bored with the preconceptions and stereotypes for Americans. I guess all I can do to stay sane at this point is laugh. I just wish my colleagues would stop asking me about Texas and cowboys… I have never been to Texas! And Linda, good comment… I am proud of the fact that I am a prude American. I still blush when giving ‘bisous’ and prefer not to oogle the smut magazines in the tobac windows (but this is a pastime for my coworkers).

  • JP

    Ah that is humorous. I don’t think I can ever get bored with the preconceptions and stereotypes for Americans. I guess all I can do to stay sane at this point is laugh. I just wish my colleagues would stop asking me about Texas and cowboys… I have never been to Texas!

    And Linda, good comment… I am proud of the fact that I am a prude American. I still blush when giving ‘bisous’ and prefer not to oogle the smut magazines in the tobac windows (but this is a pastime for my coworkers).

  • French for a While

    Ah yes, nothing like being judged by the French. I’ve just moved to this country from Washington, DC where I spent some time working on Capital Hill so I love looking at ways in which people perceive candidates or issues. And watching the French coverage of the primaries is indeed fun. Not all bad — but just fun. Since I teach history and politics here in France, it’s equally fun to debunk some of the stereotypes my students often have. I don’t own a gun, I don’t drive an SUV, and I don’t wear cowboy boots. A shock to some.Just came across your blog and enjoyed reading about a bit of politics!!

  • French for a While

    Ah yes, nothing like being judged by the French. I’ve just moved to this country from Washington, DC where I spent some time working on Capital Hill so I love looking at ways in which people perceive candidates or issues. And watching the French coverage of the primaries is indeed fun. Not all bad — but just fun. Since I teach history and politics here in France, it’s equally fun to debunk some of the stereotypes my students often have. I don’t own a gun, I don’t drive an SUV, and I don’t wear cowboy boots. A shock to some.

    Just came across your blog and enjoyed reading about a bit of politics!!

  • Lady Iphigenia

    It makes me laugh those pastors who say that “alcohol is evil” and that “it’s written in the Bible”… Argh! What I read in the Bible (and I read a couple of chapters everyday) is that Jesus himself multiplied wine (not orange juice!) during his ministry!

  • Lady Iphigenia

    It makes me laugh those pastors who say that “alcohol is evil” and that “it’s written in the Bible”… Argh! What I read in the Bible (and I read a couple of chapters everyday) is that Jesus himself multiplied wine (not orange juice!) during his ministry!

  • GUILLAUME

    LOL! i’m a french man from Bordeaux and i drink wine only for the Lord’s supper!
    I think that prohibition in the USA is not only religious but it correponds to a necessity for the country. The consumption of alcohol for most of french people in france is not like in most of the english spoken countries. I have seen less drunk people in the french streets than in Scotland (historically a puritan country too) for example!
    However the french lobbies of alcohol (especially wine) are very powerfull in our country…

  • GUILLAUME

    LOL! i’m a french man from Bordeaux and i drink wine only for the Lord’s supper!
    I think that prohibition in the USA is not only religious but it correponds to a necessity for the country. The consumption of alcohol for most of french people in france is not like in most of the english spoken countries. I have seen less drunk people in the french streets than in Scotland (historically a puritan country too) for example!
    However the french lobbies of alcohol (especially wine) are very powerfull in our country…

  • Kaylin

    I live right next to a “dry county” in Alabama (not my own, but the next one up, just 10 miles or so from my house) and it still surprises ME sometimes. But my dad used to run a convenience store (aka liquor store) that was literally feet from the county line, and they made so much money off it!

    One of the best things I enjoyed about France when I was there last year was that I could buy liquor, at age 19, and without being IDed, in the grocery store… unheard of at home!

  • Kaylin

    I live right next to a “dry county” in Alabama (not my own, but the next one up, just 10 miles or so from my house) and it still surprises ME sometimes. But my dad used to run a convenience store (aka liquor store) that was literally feet from the county line, and they made so much money off it!

    One of the best things I enjoyed about France when I was there last year was that I could buy liquor, at age 19, and without being IDed, in the grocery store… unheard of at home!

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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 January 2010, I started focusing more on teaching and learning languages in general. 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 the university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling (though now my trips are usually in Australia) and being an American abroad.

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