A friend of ours was staying with his fiancés family. At breakfast, he asked for a cup, in which to drink his coffee. He was given a bowl. Thinking that he had not explained what he wanted, he said that he wanted a cup and not a cereal bowl. He was surprised to find that many French people drink their morning coffee or hot chocolate from a bowl. If I had had a smart phone I would have been able to add a photo here to illustrate this. A French friend was drinking tea from a cup but holding it with his first finger inside and the two adjacent fingers around the outside edge. The handle of the cup was on the other side being completely unused. He was holding a cup as if it was a bowl. It would have been a good picture for the cover of this book.
We stayed with friends when we first arrived in France. Croissants and jam appeared on the breakfast table, but there were no plates. We were waiting to be given some, when we noticed that the children were helping themselves and not using plates. I think the theory is that croissants and French bread make so many crumbs that a plate cannot possibly contain them. At the end of the meal the plastic cloth was simply wiped clean.