Your Risk of getting Lung Cancer Increases by 50%
I hate to admit it guys but its true what they say about the Parisiens. They sure love to puff puff away on those cigarettes! According Wikepedia (I know, a very trustworthy site) Parisiens have a higher smoking population than anywhere else in the entire world!
Everywhere I go there’s a lingering cloud of nicotine infused gas polluting the air. I can’t escape it! I once spent an evening with a Parisien who shamelessly smoked 6 cigarettes during the space of 2 hours! And there they are critisising the English for their heavy drinking culture!
You See Baguettes Sticking out of Briefcases and Handbags
This has to be the funniest thing that I have noticed while living in Paris. Everyday on my commute home from work, I see all sorts of people . The rowdy teenagers, the chic city workers, the back-pack carrying nerds, and the homeless but there is usually one thing that they tend to have in common. The Baguette. I see it everywhere. In the basket of their bicycles, under their arms and even peeping out the top of a ladies designer handbags! They all parade around with the baguette with such casualness that you could almost mistake it for the evening paper.
You Have to Think Twice Before Eating at McDonalds
What usually springs to mind when you think of McDonalds? For me I think, cheap, easy, fast-food. Well not in Paris! I don’t know if it’s just me but eating at McDonalds here feels more like a luxury than a quick in and out eatery. The prices seem so different from the purse-friendly english ones that I’m accustomed to. Although, I guess I should count myself lucky. That’s one less thing that will tempt me into obesity.
Guys Ask for Your Number on the Metro
Whether it’s on your daily metro commute to work, in the queue at the bakery or even at the flipping photocopy machine in the office, your sure to find a man lurking around ready to ask for those digits! To be honest, I don’t know whether I should be flattered or outraged. I mean I guess it’s nice to have all this attention but coming from England where a guy would not dare to even look at you for longer than 2 seconds, for fear of being called a pervert, I find it all a little unsettling at times. Discussing this phenomenon with my colleagues at work, I have learnt that Parisian men are definitely Casanovas at heart. But be warned ladies, trust them as far as you can throw them!
The Aisles for Wine, Cheese and Bread Take Up 80% of the Supermarket
I kid you not, this is a true observation. I find it quite funny how the traditional french supermarket is laid out in comparison to the English one. Finding a tin of baked beans is like finding a needle in a haystack but le vin? Take your pick. You will find wine on aisles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.
Not Having an Oven in Your Apartment is Considered the Norm
Gosh, finding somewhere acceptable and affordable to live in Paris has to be one of the most difficult things to do on the planet.
You’d be pleased to know that I am no longer homeless and have secured a quaint apartment just outside of Paris. I have, however made a rather terrifyingly shocking discovery. Despite paying a sizeable sum of money for rent, I have signed a contract for an apartment, which for some bizarre reason does not have an oven in the kitchen! After complaining both to my Landlady and to some friends they equally replied with the same irritating response, “it’s Paris, what did you expect?”
Cars Do Not Stop at the Zebra Crossing
Ironically I’ve found zebra crossings to be the most unsafe means for crossing the roads in Paris.
Just when you think your good to go, BAM are car or motorbike comes flying past, without even attempting to slow down for you. You might even get the odd “connard!” shouted in your direction too. Do not take anything for granted here in Paris, regardless of whether you see a zebra crossing, a red light, or a ‘Pedestrian Only’ signpost. My survival tip? Always STOP, LOOK and LISTEN.
So there’s my not so little rant on some of the culture differences I’ve noticed in Paris. Is there anything peculiar you have noticed while abroad? I’d love to know!
*P.S Connard= Arsehole