…you know how to work the ventes privées

Most non-Parisians know about the soldes (sales) in Paris.  What they don’t know about, at least when they first arrive, is the ventes privées (private sales). I know that when I first arrived in Paris, I would often see queues of well-dressed women lining up outside random, non-marked doors in the marais and be intrigued.  Being naturally … Continue reading …you know how to work the ventes privées

…you try to act cool when you see a celebrity

There are lots of celebrities in Paris.  They like it here, or so people say, because people "act cool" and give them their space.  Presumably, Parisians are so busy themselves trying to act cool and nonchalant that they wouldn't dare whip out their smart phones, stop and stare or just freak out generally when they see … Continue reading …you try to act cool when you see a celebrity

…you get used to seeing dogs in restaurants / shops / public transport

As anyone who has spent some time in Paris will know, dogs have a special place in Parisian society.  Most striking is the way that dogs accompany their owners to places usually exclusively reserved for humans, such as restaurants, shops and public transport. Sure, we have all seen the exaggerated version of this cliché in films and TV … Continue reading …you get used to seeing dogs in restaurants / shops / public transport

…your wardrobe becomes almost entirely black

I'm certainly not the first person to muse about this (nor will I be the last), but Parisians have a thing about black.  Or, more precisely, they have a thing about not wearing too much colour. I first learnt this from my former housemate (a lovely Parisian) who told me that you should not wear more … Continue reading …your wardrobe becomes almost entirely black

…you get excited when you find a supermarket open on Sundays

Living in Paris you quickly learn that Sundays are rest days.  Largely thanks to the ever-present unions, trading on Sundays is for the most part banned in France.  Some people also cite respect for "traditional" family values as justifying the ban on trade, which makes some sense.  But it is damned annoying when it's Sunday … Continue reading …you get excited when you find a supermarket open on Sundays

…you find yourself saying “Oh là là”

It's one of the biggest clichés about the French.  In addition to wearing Breton stripes (which happens surprisingly frequently), riding bikes carrying baguettes (which happens more often that you'd expect) and wearing berets (which almost never happens), any caricature of the French will inevitably involve letting out an oh-so sing song "Oh là là".   … Continue reading …you find yourself saying “Oh là là”