Now that I’ve lived in Paris for eight months, I believe it’s high time I shared what this city is really like. Brace yourselves, it’s nothing like the movies. Before you get mad at me for ruining your image of one of the world’s most famous cities, trust me — it’s for the best!
Let’s get started…
- In the winter, it’s cold. And rainy. Like really cold and really raining. I know that’s not very eloquent, but there’s really no other way to describe it. If you come here from October-May, bring your warmest coat and your strongest umbrella — you’re going to need them. Oh, and in the winter, the sun doesn’t come up until after 8am.
- In the summer, the sun won’t go down until after 10pm. It’s cool, but throws you off.
- You can see stars in Paris at night. Where I’m from, one of my favorite things to do was stargaze. It always made me feel at peace. Living in Boston and New York, that piece of peace was lost, but thanks to the lack of skyscrapers, the city of lights doesn’t drown out all the stars.
- Tourists, particularly American ones, fit their negative stereotypes and truly give Americans a bad name. So does trump. FYI, outside of the States, the whole world is laughing at us.
- The french love burgers and they will argue to the death about the origin of the best fries. (They’re actually Belgian though).
- Escargot is surprisingly good. And so is duck confit. (The duck is also served with fries). Fries for everyone!
- If you actually try to speak french, the French will be nice to you. Don’t attempt, don’t expect to get very far. Seriously, even if you have the most American accent when you attempt to say something, they respect you so much more for respecting their culture.
- No one gives a shit about the Eiffel and unless you’re in certain parts of the city you can’t even see it. Where I live, work and go to school, I can’t see it and usually forget its existence.
- Most Parisian architecture looks the same. Thanks Haussmann.
- The city smells like piss. Sorry about it. It only smells like bread if you walk by a boulangerie at the crack of dawn.
- Street harassers are common and happen to everyone. Part of living in a city I guess. Still inexcusable.
- If you want a good deal, you have to search for it. If you go to the grocery store on Sunday afternoon, you’ll likely find discounts on meat.
- Fast food is so much better here. McDo (as the French call McDonalds), Burger King, and KFC are delicious even though I’d never step foot in either in the states (except for a bacon egg and cheese breakfast which sadly France doesn’t have).
- Grocery stores don’t generally sell bread crumbs, or if they do I can’t find them.
- Update: I found them, but they’re normal breadcrumbs.
- American culture has a lot more influence than the French will ever care to admit. From food to fashion to music. Half the time I forget I’m in France.
- Socialism is great. So many subsidies. Even if you’re not french.
- I get a subsidy on my rent, health insurance and other small things like under 26 movie ticket discounts (4,90€) and metro cards (only 38€/month).
- People really are extremely rude and fit that typical rude, entitled stereotype
- The refugee crisis really is awful and you can find them all over the city and their own tent cities. Definitely contributes to the city’s homelessness crisis, which is also heartbreaking.
- Fun fact: the city matches homeless people with homeless pets to help keep them company and give them responsibility.
- The quality of food is actually so much better than the States. I’ve actually lost weight eating fast food on a regular basis.
That’s all for now! As I discover more about this city, I will update this post. Hope you learned something about Paris that you didn’t know before!