Here is another round of 10 observations that amuses me.

1. Reason why Parisian doesn’t like to speak English

This does not speak for all Parisians, but a local told me that she hates speaking English because many tourists arrive here and assumes everyone will speak English. Tourists arrive in Paris and assault the locals with English frequently, which is not the national language.

 

“It is an attack on the culture of French language. Why do people assume that everyone can or like to speak English?” quote. The lack of attempt to speak in French is apparently the most frustrating.

 

Admitted, I think she made a very good point. I’ve never considered that before.

 

2. Moving out the window

Referring to my previous impression posts, the elevators here are TINY!!! How can anyone move? Well, the solution is this… Genius!

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3. Power of the spoon

Has anyone else noticed that all French possesses the skill of cutting AND eating tartes with a teaspoon? Okay, let this sinks in a bit. Tarte have soft and hard bits. The locals manage to demolish it with a tea spoon. No crumb and no mess as well. How?!?!? So far, none of the local has been able to explain this phenomenon.

 

4. Aperitif

Drinking on an empty stomach is tough to stay poised. This crazy tradition of drinking aperitif really ups the challenge. Most aperitif that I’ve come crossed so far were above the 30% alcohol mark. This will take years of training.

 

5. Champagne & dessert

A visiting friend pointed out that in Hong Kong, people only drink champagne before the meal begins. Certainly not here in France *LOL* Champagne and dessert is quite a common combo. Well, to me champagne is for any time, anywhere with junk food, picnic etc… It is a lot more affordable over here than overseas. Got to love the French lifestyle 😉

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Can buy these disposable flutes in supermarkets. See? Champagne is for any time, anywhere 😉

 

6. Toilet store

There are “shops” where you pay to use their toilets. They look pretty serious about toilets. *LOL*

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Spotted this one by Champs-Élysées. No idea why there’s “London” in the brand. *LOL*

7. Don’t compliment strangers

Apparently complimenting strangers that their hair or their outfit is fabulous is totally unacceptable here. How do I know that? The last stranger that I paid a compliment to in the metro RAN out of the train. I must be really creepy. I thought she looked stunning (honest).

 

8. No seat allocation in the cinema

I wonder what happens if people fight over a seat. There’s nobody checking for tickets once inside the cinema block as well! What if people bought tickets for Boss Baby sit in Beauty and the Beast?

 

9. SLS free products are affordable & easily accessible

When I lived in London, finding SLS free products was super hard to find or mega expensive. Not here! SLS free starts as little as 1 EUR for liquid soap and 1.50 EUR for shampoo! I love Le Petit Marseillais! Can find this brand in every supermarket nationwide in France.le-petit-marseillais-shampoo-fraicheur-detox-4720

10. Start a conversation by complaining

 

This is one of the hardest thing to get used to. It is the NORM here to complain about something to kick start a conversation. It can be the weather, it can be the phone battery is dying etc. anything that is in the inline of complaining will do the trick.

 

How about you? What did you find interesting in Paris?

 

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Author

Hi, I am Joyce. 30+ living in Paris. Laughs a lot. Rooibos tea. Appreciate little things. Explore places. Fighting beauty OCD.

14 Comments

  1. These were so interesting! But I totally agree with the first one even if I have never thought about it like that. And I can understand that you should never compliment strangers because if someone complimented me I would totally run out of the train 😀

    these were interesting to know and I liked the photos you used. Next time I visit Paris I will know more about the local culture thank to you 🙂

    • Thanks, Sangeeta 😀 haha it turns out that it was just the cinema that I went to. Several locals pointed out to me that it is possible to reserve a specific seat.

  2. Parisians are just rude about the whole language thing. I attempt to speak French and they laughed at me… they have a whole hang up about Canadian French. Bah on them. Do they not want our tourist dollars? Why are they insecure about their culture being eroded… the Japanese don’t act like this. 😛
    Cutting things with spoons – are the edges of their spoons super sharp? 😆
    Paying to use washrooms are such a weird concept to me! Way to hold people ransom when they’re in the most need. I thought France leaned more on the socialist end of the spectrum? 😕
    Haha you probably looked like a crazed stalker to that woman who ran away from you!!! XD

    To me, Parisians view people as outsiders vs locals. It’s a really jaded way to live. Here in Toronto, you can’t really tell who is local and who is visiting so we just treat them all the same. Besides, we’re all from “somewhere else” here anyway.
    As you can see, I’m not a huge fan of Paris. LOL.
    I DO really like that there’s an abundance of natural beauty brands but that’s Europe in general! 😉

    • *LOL* I can tell that Paris made a BIG impression on you wahahah

      French government is very socialist. So many different benefits. Too bad that they don’t cover toilets. It is a real needs that require social cover *LOL*

      Toronto sounds like magic. I really need to visit there and that magic lippie lab 😀

  3. Haha as a french person I have to come up with some precision on few points:

    1. Reason why Parisian doesn’t like to speak English
    It maybe true for your friend but I really don’t feel assault in any ways when tourists speak English to me even on very touristy spots. English is the only language that you learn no matter the country you are coming from. It’s like the “meet me in the middle” language to me so it’s just normal for tourists to try to communicate in English first.
    I think it’s more about how in Paris everyone is in rush and when their English is not good enough they even don’t bother trying… It’s still not a friendly way to treat tourists tho haha

    6. Toilet store
    Very rare shops… They are just trying to be fancy in this department store. 😉

    7. Don’t compliment strangers
    It’s not that it’s not acceptable to compliment it’s more because Parisians don’t expect people to be nice and friendly in metro. Most of the time people are quite shut down in metro, nobody pay attention to the others and they just mind their own business. That’s a way to not be annoyed by weirdos sometimes and to respect everyone privacy despite the small space, because admit it metro is quite tight ^_^;
    But everyone would appreciate a compliment to light up their day so keep trying I am sure you will make someone happy one day!

    8. No seat allocation in the cinema
    Depends on which theater you are going to! Mine has seat allocations and you can book it on their app when you buy your tickets 😉

    • O, those toilets were hilarious. I wasn’t allowed to take photo at the Effel themed one. It was sooooo over the top wahahah. There were a few to chose from on Champs Elysee ???? It was Bercy theatre, Cyrille said that there’s no seat allocation.

  4. I still need to come to Paris, although I can’t speak a word of french – I learnt German in school. I would atleast try with a phrasebook kept close by though, I can understand the frustration that people have, I imagine maybe British are slightly less bad as other English speaking countries as most will have a basic knowledge from school, where as countries like US are not taught it (as far as I’m aware).
    The moving in and out of a window thing is crazy! Is most furniture flatpacked over there? Sofas etc don’t sound fun to move!

  5. I agree with the first point, when I visit somewhere new, I try to speak in the local language first.
    Also, moving out of a window using a ladder sounds both interesting and terrifying XD

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