This is the 5th round for 10 impressions of Paris . I am sharing how I experience Paris as an immigrant in her 30s.

Un: “French French”

I get this a lot.

“Is your husband French French?”

This question actually has 2 elements:

  • Is he white?
  • Are his parents French?

If it is yes to both questions, then yes, he is a French French.


However, if I respond by,

“Do you mean if he is white?”.

The person asking the question twitches. LOL Seriously? If the person wants to ask an ethnicity questions, just come right out at it already! “French French” sounds ridiculously ambiguous to me.


O, apparent, white is also considered not precise enough. So it is important to emphasise whether the person’s parents are also French born to qualify as a “French French”. The irony is, if the person is of mixed ethnicity, regardless of how French the parents are, the person will not be labelled as “French French”.


Deux: Industrial strength deodorant

I hope this product is unique to France. Why does anyone need a 72hrs+ deodorant? Hello? Shower, please? This is kind of sending me the vibes that French men don’t shower… Otherwise, the product developer must be under the influence. lol


Trois: Different healthcare tiers

There are different health care tiers!!!! When you first arrived, you’re given the basic one; minimal cover. Once you’ve changed to the carte de residence, you’re entitled to a higher cover. The change is not automatic. One is supposed to advise the healthcare system to upgrade the cover. I found this out by complete accident! I should probably do a full post on this to help others.


Quatre: Sandwich = baguette + whatever filling

I am probably late to the game, but I only recently realise that the default meaning of sandwich is not the square version here in France.


Cinq: Certifications for anything imaginable

There is a tendency over here that people trust certifications of all sort without questioning HOW to qualify for the certificate or what it actually means. So the certification process can be completely silly / irrelevant, but people will still trust the certificate.


For example, a construction worker needs a certificate to qualify working higher than a 2 steps ladder in France. Please imagine that you’ll need a certification for using an ikea ladder. I am not joking, this certificate exists. Why will any full grown adult need a certificate for 2 steps on a ladder?

BEKVÄM Step stool IKEA Solid wood is a durable natural material. Hand-hole in the top step makes the step stool easy to move.
Source: Ikea


Six: Bugs are very different from home

I failed to recognise wasp here. Yup, that’s right. The wasp here are just a lot smaller than back in South Africa. I guess I need to learn a new set of “fear”.

Okay, this is the type of wasp that I grew up with. This was back home in South Africa. I am SCARED of this one. You see why I am oblivious to the French variety? I do not own this photo! Original photo source:


Take it this way, the French ones are… significantly less threatening in looks haha so yes, I need some fear adjustment.

Found him in Paris. I took this photo with my phone with no zoom. So… yes, I found this wasp a lot less fear inspiring.


Sept: Deity level gardening

I don’t experience that many pest in Paris. Certainly haven’t seen any cut worms or cut worms related pesticides. HOWEVER… plants are a lot more difficult to look after over here in Paris. Back home, everything just grows whether you like it or not. Over here, it is an active mission and they still die of unknown causes.


Huit: French lingerie… BEST ever

No idea why Victoria Secrets bothers to enter the French market. Not surprised that they don’t trade well in France. France has top product development in lace in the world and home to lingerie/fashion. It is not difficult to imagine that the lingerie from all price range over here are fierce.

Image result for etam
Source: Etam

For starters, Etam stores are everywhere. It’s a high street brand. Similar pricing to Zara. They offer gorgeous affordable lingerie with a large variety of fits and in a range of fantastic quality. Not to forget the likes of iconic department stores like Printemp and Gallerie La Fayette with their thousand and one gorgeous French lace lingerie. There is just no room for mediocre lingerie.


Neuf: Suburb vs Paris

It is a big deal to many it seems. There is a sense of superiority / pride to live within the 20 districts in Paris (yup, even the ones with strong aroma of pee). I have asked this question to a few people, they’re unable to tell me what’s the source of superiority, although they talk about suburb with disdain. I guess in time, I’ll learn?


My hubby thinks that it maybe because Paris is the capital city. I don’t know if that’s really the source? For instance, ask a South African if they feel particularly superior to be living in the city center (e.g. Pretoria, aka capital of SA). My reaction would be, they are brave souls or highly skilled in self defence, but I doubt that pride or superiority is the first thing that will come in mind. LOL


Dix: Organic is an “extensive” lifestyle

Check this out… this is a REAL product found in a garden centre. That AB sign means that it has been certified organic. Enough said, right?


That’s all for this time 😉

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Salut, I am Joyce. 40 something living in Paris. Appreciate little things and share giggles. Prudent, no nonsense reviews. #ExploreLaughRepeat


  1. This was an awesome post. Thank you.
    As for the baguette being the benchmark of the sandwich….well, I wish that were the case everywhere–but I wish sourdough bread was more available.
    French French. Glad you made them twitch a little.

    • Thanks for dropping by again, Anthony 😀 hm… I don’t know if I have see sourdough around much. I think twitch moments are quite funny. They mark those honest moments 😉 LOL

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