How to survive in Paris?

Some friends of mine, born and raised in UK, usually ask me some weird questions about Paris and Parisians. But it might not be that weird as they’re all asking the same things. So if you’ve planned to spend some time in the beautiful city where I’m born, here’re some clues to not come back with the so called by the Japanese “Paris syndrome”.

Is it true French people are mean?
I would say not more and not less than anyone in a big city. The only difference is, if you’re lost in London, you’ll find someone nice to help you finding your way even though that person is in a hurry. We don’t really have time for that in Paris, and we just say it: “no time for that!” – if we say something.

Is Paris a dangerous city?
Not much than London. We too have pick-pockets, and as you wouldn’t go alone at 3am in a small street of Newham, don’t do it in Paris. The tube is obviously less safe for your smartphone in Paris than in London, but well, shit happens. Btw, there’s no “no-go-zone”. Stop watching telly.

Why Parisians seem always so annoyed/arrogant/bored?
Because. And don’t piss me off asking this again.

Why do they never reply to me? It’s so rude!
Maybe because you’re talking to them in english? I know, loads of people around the world speak english, but in France, we speak french – weird innit? What if the french people in UK started suddenly to speak french expecting everyone, from the newsagent to the police officer and the guy at the till, will understand? Think about it. Anyway, this won’t happen in the touristic areas and not in the trendy bars. Nor where there’re hipsters all around. So people will reply to you.

Why isn’t it like they said in that book about french people?
The same than all english girls don’t look like Jane Birkin and all the guys are not Mark Darcy, so are french people. We are not all clones of Ines de la Fressange nor we are riding a bike holding a baguette in a breton jumper. It is called human beings, not stereotypes for a Hollywood movie.

Why are you eating frogs?
This one is a strong belief. The truth is: we are not eating frogs. Well, maybe back in the days people were. But actually, as a french person, I never ever tasted frogs. Not even their legs. And I’m not the only one. But snails, yes.

You’re always complaining.
No. We’re trying to improve things and it works.

Where should I go and where should I stay in Paris?
If it’s your first time in Paris, go and see the touristic areas of course but not only especially if you want to eat. I would advise you to check there for a good meal or here if you’re missing your hometown or also over there if you fancy. About the stay, it’s like London: or you know someone where you can couch surf or you have to find a hotel and compare the prices.

What is your secret to be so French?
Read that blog.

Any other question? Just ask!


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