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 gonna 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.

A Day of Adventures

So, today was all about stepping outside of my comfort zone.. Although, I don’t really have a comfort zone, I kind of just love to explore. I mean look at what I’m doing now – a few months ago I decided I wanted to somehow come back to France and now I’m here living in Paris for goodness sake. Yeah, I kind of just do anything and everything. But that’s not the point!

The point is that today I did new things and explored. I mean, I’ve been in Paris for like four days now, it’s about time that I get out and do things. So I basically did it all. Let’s start at the beginning..

Today was my first day walking A to school by myself. Only been here a few days and I didn’t even get lost. It probably does help though that I had an 8 year old there to help me if I took a wrong turn – EVEN THOUGH I DIDN’T. We didn’t even get lost once. Boom. And then I had to walk ALL THE WAY BACK ON MY OWN. And guess what.. I still didn’t get lost! Go me. So yeah, anyway, I walked A to and from school all alone and it was great. I waited there for him at the school after he went in and I watched him play in front.. Until he saw me creeping and came over to the fence and said, “Megan, it’s good. You can go now.” I basically felt like a rejected parent. If I knew what a rejected parent felt like. But I don’t.

After all the school shenanigans, I made crêpes! But not just any crêpes. No, no. I made chocolate breakfast crêpes that were basically better than I ever could have imagined them to be in the mere three hours I’d had to look forward to them. Even the kiddos said they were delicious! Okay.. Maybe they just said, “Mmm, these are very good,” but I’m paraphrasing and in my mind I heard, “Delicious!” And that’s that.Crêpes

Next, the kiddos wanted to go to the cinema so we did. On the Champs Elysées. Like yeah. The freaking Champs Elysées is where we saw a movie. Planes 2. It was pretty good.. I think. The best part was the fact that both S and A cuddled me during it and it just really made me feel like this next year will be wonderful.

AND THEN MACAROONS. OH MY GOODNESS THE MACAROONS. We went to Ladurée and got macaroons. I hadn’t had one in over a year. MMMMMMACAROONS.Macaroons

Then tonight, I decided to skip out on dinner with the family because I wanted to explore. Found out that there are multiple Dior, Chanel, Michael Kors, Gucci and Tom Ford stores within a ten minute radius of my apartment. Excuse me but where is it that I’m living?! ..Oh wait, that’s right. PARIS. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it but that’s fine by me. My exploring led me to places I hadn’t been before (isn’t that the point?) and all the while, my Mom is on the phone with me sharing in the experience, apparently freaking out over my lack of concern about where I am and where I’m going. All I knew on this hunt was that I wanted quiche, orangina and wine. Took me an hour of walking because most shops were already closed but I found all three! And even got some free chocolate truffles from a nice store owner when I went in to buy some wine. He was quite nice if I do say so myself.Food

All in all, quite a lovely day in Paris.