Saturday, April 9, 2011

A few things you need to know about Parisians...

I love nothing, I'm Parisian

Well, when I saw this image I must admit it made me laugh and I thought: That's true! And like I said yesterday on my post, being a Parisian makes me negative by nature... So, if you ever come to Paris or meet a Parisian or even fall in love with one, here are ten things that you might want to know about us:

1/ Parisians live in the cafés. They have a meeting (work or personal), they'll set it in a café. They are early to a meeting, they'll go into the first café and drink a coffee (One could think that they get early just for the café, because usually they have a tendancy to be late... see point 4). They want to read a book, they'll do that in a café. They have an exam to prepare, why go to the library when you can study in a café? They had a bad day, they'll drown it at the café (this time not drinking coffee but beer or more). They like music, they'll go to the café-concert. Whatever they do, they have to have a coffee.
(I personally don't, but I also don't eat bread every day and never drink wine, which makes me a strange kind of Parisian...)

2/ Parisians love eating. Along with the cafés and teraces and coffees they drink, comes the love that Parisians have for food and restaurants. One of their favorite things to do is to have dinner out or to invite friends over for dinner. And when they eat, they talk (and a lot of times they do both at the same time).

3/ Parisians have no patience. They can go crazy when they are stuck in a traffic jam and you'll hear them shout "Avance connard!" (Move bastard!) to anyone who is not quick enough to move their car the minute the light turns green. Or they can't stand waiting on lines, they will roll their eyes at the cashier if she is slow or mumble under their breath at how stupid she is. In general and on a daily basis, they just get flustered with anything.

4/Parisians are usually late. Not very late but a little late, conventional late, acceptable late, like 5-10 minutes. It's like arriving on time is not cool, you have to arrive a little late at a dinner or at a party or a meeting, if not you look like the guy who had so nothing else to do that he's there early... sad... 
And by the way, if you're invited at a dinner or a party, just know that coming early is a big mistake: you'll have your hosts freak out because they are not ready, so don't ever do that. 

5/ Parisians are not what you can call hard-workers. By this, you must understand not like New-Yorker hard-workers or Japanese hard-workers. French work 35 hours a week and they still think it is too much. They have 5 weeks of holidays a year (minimum, because some have up to 8 weeks) and they still complain that holidays go too fast.

6/ Parisians think that Paris is France. They look at the other French cities as other countries. When they travel to other places like Lyon or Marseille or Lille, they will fall under the charm of life outside Paris, amazed by the niceness of people, the fact that you can rent a place there without losing an eye or that the weather is much more friendly - but after a week they will get depressed and rush back to Paris to feel anonymous and trendy again.

7/Parisians are snobish. They think they own fashion and good taste. And when they get intellectual and start talking about philosophy or life, I just have one advice: run!

8/ Parisians complain all the time, about anything. This is almost part of their DNA. If you don't complain, you're not a Parisian. They'll complain about the metro, the weather, their work, their kids, their age, their food at the restaurant, their seat at the movies. It's like a second nature, a national sport...

9/ Parisians say "no" before they say "yes". One day, a Chinese teacher told me that he used to work in a Chinese restaurant in Belleville (Paris Chinatown) to study French mentality. Well, 9 times out of 10, when Parisians walked in the restaurant and he would propose them a table, they would ask if it was possible to get another one. Yes, my friends, Parisians need to feel that they are the ones who choose, they just hate when they are told what to do or who to be. Which leads us to the fact that Parisians are quite negative. They can't say anything good about something unless there is something bad to go with it (my post is a clear evidence that I am a Parisian...)

10/ Regardless to all of their faults, Parisians will make you love them because they have a lot of wit, they are loyal, they love History and art, and most of all they are very open-minded to other cultures. 
And last, if you ever come to Paris, you will probably notice that Parisians do have style and they don't need to overdo it: no one wears Repetto ballerinas like we do...

This is a Parisian writing, so as you understand, Parisians also happen to have a good sense of self-mockery! So don't be afraid, we bark but we don't bite!!


Bohemian Life said...

This is a perfect manual for Paris visitors :D I like it so much :)

Anabelle Tess said...

I hope it won't make you guys change your mind about coming to Paris... ;-)