…you think the air conditioning is making you sick

A few years ago, I was at the office during one of the delicious heat-waves that Paris enjoys at least once a summer.  Our office was on the 5th floor and was orientation ouest (west-facing), so it got the afternoon sun and became a veritable fournaise (furnace) in the summertime.  One day it got so hot … Continue reading …you think the air conditioning is making you sick

…you learn to live with the strikes

The strikes (or "les grèves") are one of the biggest clichés about living in France.  And much like the difficulties of dealing with l'administration or the frequency with which French people say "oh la la", after you live here for a while you quickly realize that this cliché is very much true. I've seen many … Continue reading …you learn to live with the strikes

…you start using French expressions

Learning French in Paris is a daily battle.  English is everywhere, so much so that you could actually get by without speaking French at all.  Well, at least in most places. But, if you persevere, you do have little victories every now and again.  Like the feeling you get when you learn a new word … Continue reading …you start using French expressions

…you become a French cititzen

It has been a while since I last blogged.  Nearly two years to be exact.  In those two years, a lot has changed.  Some changes have been good, others bad.  France elected its youngest ever President, Emmanuel Macron (cf. macaron.) Colette, a favourite hang-out of fashion folk and celebrities alike, closed its doors definitively. And David Pujadas, … Continue reading …you become a French cititzen

…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

…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