Jumping ship in order to avoid the Olympics in London, albeit making me feel a bit left out, was an incredible decision.
Jumping ship in order to avoid the Olympics in London, albeit making me feel a bit left out, was an incredible decision. I have had time to write my Masters dissertation, to relax and settle in, and to get to grips with living somewhere a bit different. Here are the 10 best things about living in Paris.
Like a total fool, I embarked on the Atkins diet for an article I was writing about two weeks after arriving here, which cut out all of the croissants, baguettes, tartes and madeleines. Culinary salvation was at hand though, in the form of…
It is imperative to find some good places to get meat. Mediocre charcuterie boards are everywhere here, but once you start to find the really good ones, especially with a sexy Parisian slicing the meat fresh, you won’t look back.
Cheese deserves its own category in this article, as the cheese here, compared to other places, sets it worlds apart. I know I just used up my first three selections on food, but the meat and cheese definitely deserve their own categories. Unless the café serves une assiette mixte; Then I’ll have one of those. (I would check out www.wherethefuckshouldigotoeat.com, if you get stuck for ideas anywhere in the world. It’s fun, and actually works.
Men (or women)
A little jarring at first, the frank yet romantic way Parisians deal with love (and lust) is a refreshing change. Far away from the emotional minefield of relationships in London, I was a little offended at first, and then relieved by the openness in which people here discuss their sex lives.
The architecture and design of the city makes even the greyest, gloomiest evening seem picturesque. As much as I rate London above any other city in the world, I have to give it to Paris that it is very nice to look at, and they know how to do nice buildings, which look pretty come rain or shine.
As dull as it sounds, I don’t drink, but hear me out. Those of us with a bit of an impulse control problem, and those of us who maybe find it difficult to say no to that fifth double gin, can still appreciate a good thing when we see one. The wine is definitely top notch here, plus it’s cheap. I saw a bottle of Bordeaux for €1.56 (Which is about £1.23 – score).
As boring as it sounds, going to a café or restaurant, getting a table and having it, un-hassled, for an entire night is bliss. Coming from London, where the pressure to be in and out of a restaurant within a set time period, or where bars are packed like Beliebers outside of Bieber’s hotel (urgh).
In Paris, the French to English ratio is just right. As much as I am against just speaking English in foreign countries, the number of people who do speak English makes it very convenient if you are in a hurry, lost or confused. The fact that there is still a substantial number who don’t parlais Anglais, makes it still feel like an adventure.
Double decker trains
They never cease to amuse me. I wish we had them in the UK. They don’t have as many travelators as us though, which is sad for them, especially if you say it in a Geordie accent. Travel in general is quite good in Paris. The best way to see it is to cycle around. The Velib are cheap, and easy to rent, and you get to see all the nice things, and how they all fit together geographically. Have a go.
Oddly enough, it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside when French people seem to not give a shit about me, what I need or what I think. I appreciate being snubbed, ignored, or mocked by the French in typical Parisien fashion. Maybe that is just a bit too much of an insight into my potentially masochistic tendencies. Oops.
So there you have it. I’m sure I’ve highlighted some horrific stereotypes, and offended an entire race of people, but I do love Paris, very dearly. If you get a chance, go and challenge yourself with somewhere a little different to what you’re used to. I watched a film the other day called Weekend where one of the main characters talks about breaking free from what is expected of you, and your pre-prescribed self which is projected onto you by people you know. I have felt myself change since I got here, and it’s a nice feeling. Plus I’ve lost a stone and a half in two months. THANKS DR ATKINS.
Image by Hardy, InterfaceLIFT