I've been to four different countries in the last two months and one of the most difficult things about being somewhere new is figuring out the local customs. Even eating out for me presents a challenge; it's a mind boggling experience. When I walk in, should I wait to be seated, or am I allowed to sit at my own free will? When I'm ready to order, shall I walk up to the counter or wait to be served? What happens if I want dessert, does eye contact to the nearest waiter/waitress suffice, or should I clap my hand and yell 'garçon'? (no that's actually really rude in France, only people in Hollywood films do that). When I'm finished, do I ask for the bill and pay at the table or proceed to the front? Am I meant to tip, what is an acceptable tip?
This is the stuff they don't teach in university or language school - how to behave. You can't be Australian in France and that's the problem. I could be the most obscene, offensive, disrespectful person in France and I wouldn't even know it.