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Paris

…you start complaining about everything

Everyone knows that the French are masters at complaining.  And Parisians even more so.  You only need to sit next to a couple of Parisians on a terrace or overhear a conversation on the metro to realise this.  Instagrammers (including me) may try to lead you to believe that la vie est belle in Paris […]

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Paris

…you shut down over summer

Summer has a way of sneaking up on you in Paris.  The ponts of May come and go.  The days start getting longer (as you’re reminded by the weather presenters on the nightly news who cheerfully announce the extra minutes of sunshine for the following day), street-sellers put away their stock of umbrellas and start […]

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Becoming French Expat in France Expat in Paris Expat life Paris Paris life

…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 […]

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Becoming French Expat life France france wins again french clichés Paris Paris life Parisian parisienne Turning Parisian

…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 […]

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Becoming French Expat life french expressions french language Paris Paris life Parisian parisienne

…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 […]

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Becoming French Expat life French citizenship french clichés Paris Paris life Parisian parisienne

…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, […]

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french language Paris

…you start using English words like a French person

There is a war brewing in France.  And I’m not only talking about the war between the police and the motley crew of Nuit Debout folk on the Place de la République (although that is still in full swing).  No, I’m talking about the perceived war on the French language. It started out innocently enough.  An article […]

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Fashion Paris Paris life Parisian

…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 […]

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Celebrities Paris Paris life

…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 […]

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french clichés Paris Paris life Paris problems

…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 […]