From what I have observed about the French – they appear to be much less materialistic than Aussies.
Cars and houses are just to be used and not the highly prized status symbols they are in Australia. Most French rent, and they certainly don’t seem to idolize their cars.
The way they park is a perfect example – “parallel” parking (and I use the term loosely – sometimes with a wheel up on the kerb) so close together (and in either direction too – happily whipping in from the other side of the road) it’s inevitable that every car has dents and scratches, and nobody seems to mind.
Maybe that’s the way to be – not so hung up about our “things.”