Paris, so far…

The view out one of my windows - the gilded statues of the Opera

I’ve been living in Paris just over 2 months now and it’s really flown by. But so far, so good. I’ve been fortunate to live in lots of cool cities all over the world, but there is something about Paris that I can’t put my finger on, something that makes it a really special place. I figured it might be interesting to put down a few of my thoughts about Paris and its people, and what I have learned so far here…

  • Paris is always busy. There is no ‘low season’. It’s constantly full of locals and tourists all trying to do the same things. And there is always traffic! Even at obscure times like 2am!
  • Its near impossible to get a taxi sometimes. It’s like Dublin back in the 90’s…
  • If you are a woman, you’re expected to wear heels at all times. They can be skyscraper, wedged or low but there must be a heel. I’ve had people look at my feet on the walk to work when I’ve been running along in my cute pumps. And God forbid you might wear trainers on your work route!!!

My lock (with my sis) on the Bridge of Locks

  • Black is very popular. All the time. People don’t tend to wear a whole pile of bright colours, unless it’s a scarf or accessory. Black is my favourite colour so I fit right in!
  • Shopping must be a national pastime because the stores are forever jammed! And guys love shopping with their girlfriends by the looks of things. People have money and they want to spend it – and they really want to spend it on designer handbags, good shoes and Zara.
  • Bar a couple of rude people on the metro or buses, 99.9% of the Parisians I’ve met have been the opposite of what you are led to believe – they are helpful, friendly and sociable. My neighbours have been great to me since I moved in, and are constantly inviting me to things.

The lights at Les Etages, one of my favourite bars in the Marais

  • No one is in a hurry. Ever. They are the slowest nation I’ve come across. When they walk, when they serve you, when you ask them a question, when you’re in line for something, when they are making decisions. I guess they are thinkers, taking it all in!
  • French men love women. And are very forward. I get chatted up in the strangest places – when buying tickets in the metro, at dinner with someone else, the supermarket, the traffic lights, the queue for a gig. I’ve been told I have a look that French men like – big lips and eyes, with a stare that says ‘don’t bother me‘ (not my words!!)
  • On a similar note, no one in this city can believe I’m Irish! Most assume I’m French. If unsure, they go for Spanish or Greek. And a weird number of people have told me I look Middle Eastern! My Mayo born parents must have passed on some serious genes to me…

The 'Snow Globe' champagne bar

  • I see lots of famous people all over the city. I’ve spotted Eva Mendes, Kate Moss, Rosie Huntington Whiteley, Bradley Cooper, Bruce Willis and Sienna Miller in the last 2 months.
  • People eat out all the time. No matter what night you are out, the cafes and restaurants will be busy. There is no quiet night. I went for a bite on Sunday night in the Japanese area where it is wall to wall Japanese restaurants, and still had to queue outside for 20 minutes – and most of the places around me had queues too.
  • The uniform of choice for ladies for after work drinks is a pair of jeans, vest top, blazer, oversized bag and sky high heels. Add in amazing bed-head hair, barely there make-up and manicured nails and you get the picture.
  • There is always something cool to do here. Except maybe on a Sunday when three-quarters of the city is closed…

I ran these by my French friends before posting and they had a bit of a laugh over them – they are not to be taken too seriously!!! Paris, je t’aime…

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4 thoughts on “Paris, so far…

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