Paris Through the Eyes of an American

After almost five months of living in Paris, I feel it’s time to discuss how different it is from the States. So here it goes.

1. Everyone smokes. Seriously, I feel like I’m going to get lung cancer just walking down the street for five minutes at a time. It’s quite ridiculous.

2. Everything is more expensive. This, however, is expected. I mean, obviously it’s Paris. But the recent decline of the euro is helping me out a bit in this aspect!

3. People are rude. It seems no matter where you go, you encounter some sour puss who’s completely adamant on shoving you out of their way on the sidewalk. This comes with living in any big city though, so I’ve learned to get over it and stop complaining (I’m willing to admit it took months to stop the complaining, though).

4. Harassment awaits around every corner. It seems like no matter where I go, I can feel eyes undressing me and it took a while to adjust to the point where I can finally say it doesn’t bother me anymore. In fact, I hardly notice now.

5. Crêpes are everywhere. Whether you’re shopping in your favorite district and want a quick lunch or you’re out late after the bars and want a midnight snack, you’re always within a short distance of crêpe territory.

6. The coffee is smaller. It’s no secret the French love their espresso. It’s everywhere. I even have a personal espresso maker in my shoebox apartment instead of a coffee maker. Espresso just makes sense in this city.

7. The scent of fresh baked croissants every morning can be inhaled from every corner. One of my favorite things about being up early every morning is this sweet, buttery aroma seeping through every street.

8. Ancient architecture is at every doorstep. Obviously America is a young country and France is much, much older but it’s still so strange to me as an American to live in a city with so much history. Even my apartment building was built hundreds of years ago and I live in the past servant quarters that were used long, long ago.

9. Wine is a staple item in every diet. Does this need anymore description? I live in Paris. Of course wine is abundant and a part of every day life. It’s not even a question at meal time whether or not you’ll have wine.

10. Museums are hiding all throughout the city. Okay, you’ve heard of The Louvre, but there are dozens of museums everywhere that I’d never even heard about until moving here. For instance, there’s a perfume museum right down the street from me.. That’s pretty cool.

11. Frenchmen are more likely to harass you in the street than actually strike up a conversation at a bar. This goes back to the harassment thing – I don’t know what it is but for some reason Frenchmen don’t get the concept of women. They just don’t. They’d rather yell at you on the sidewalk than talk with you at the bar. But if they do talk to you at the bar, they automatically assume that if you show ANY interest, they’re automatically entitled to your phone number, body & entire life from there on out.

12. The homeless are everywhere. It’s so sad to walk down the street and pass by hoards of homeless sleeping in their tents along the sidewalk. It’s literally heartbreaking and really opens your eyes to how different your own life could be within an instant.

13. Public transportation can either be the best or worst thing in your life. It’s the best thing in the world when you’re trying to figure out a safe way home at the end of a long night out on the town. It’s the worst thing in the world when you’re wanting to stay out later but don’t want to miss your last metro but also don’t want to stay out till 6am when the metros start back up again. It’s an internal dilemma every time.

14. Every area of the city has a different significance from history. Every single metro stop in the city is named after a different event from history and it’s mind boggling to try and comprehend a city with so much depth to it.

15. Fashion is huge. Again, obviously it’s Paris so it’s the leader in the fashion world. Black is the main color scheme within every Parisian’s wardrobe but this doesn’t stop me from being the blatant American who stands out in yoga pants and floral dresses.

All of these things make Paris what it is and it’s wonderful to view the city from foreign eyes. I love this beautiful city and love the home it’s become in the past five months of my life.

Paris, never change darling.

Published by MeganSuddarth

"Not all those who wander are lost." -Tolkien

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