…you support your petits commerces

While polls show that a majority of French people support the reconfinement to curb the country’s vertiginous number of COVID cases and fatalities, they are still upset about a lot of things. The closure of shops selling so-called “non-essential” items – particularly bookshops – is one of them.   In an attempt to level the … Continue reading …you support your petits commerces

…you start saying “bonjour” to everyone you see

Paris is back in lockdown, a.k.a. “reconfinement”.  Despite a summer spent outdoors at dynamic beaches (“plages dynamiques”) and at pop-up terraces (“terrasses éphémères”), the second wave (“deuxième vauge”) has arrived with a vengeance.  As was the case during the first confinement, you need to fill out an attestation (sworn declaration) to go outside and you … Continue reading …you start saying “bonjour” to everyone you see

…you *nearly* buy an apartment in Paris

At this point I feel like I’ve been through all of the emotions of confinement.  The adrenaline.  The fear.  The blind forwarding of memes.   The inexplicable panic-buying of canned goods I don’t even usually buy (we currently have no less than six cans of chick peas in our pantry and so far we have made … Continue reading …you *nearly* buy an apartment in 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 … Continue reading …you start complaining about everything

…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 … Continue reading …you shut down over summer

…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