France

30 Struggles of Living in Paris

bon-appetit

 Your 15 minute transfer at Chatelet-Les Halles

Avoid at all costs.

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Being 26

Sorry, you are officially “old” in Paris years. No more discounts. However, you can still try to fake it as a student.

Seeing tourists struggle to get the metro doors open

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Pull. Lever. Up.

Losing your metro ticket

Just hope you don’t get caught.

The stress of being controlled

You have my metro card and you even swiped it to get in, but for some reason, at the last minute, you fear your card will deactivate and the controller will think you’re cheating the Paris metro out of their money

Going to Galeries Lafayette any day of the week

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Constant smell of smoke

With this much second-hand smoke, you might as well just smoke

Wanting a filter coffee and feeling somewhat embarrassed about it

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Suckas, got my filter coffee!

Living near a 3bis line…or any bis line for that matter

Never do that to yourself.

Not being near Montparnasse, Gare de Lyon, or Chatelet when catching a Noctilien

Hope you like to Vélib…

Almost getting hit by a bus in St. Michel & St. Germain des Près

The person who designed that intersection just wanted something bad to happen. Who would decide to build a huge street with four streets going North and just one bus lane toward the South.

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Going to a bar and hoping to hear anything but electro

Always prepare your best two-step, and if that doesn’t work, just hop around – you’ll fit in perfectly

Being the only friend at a soirée who doesn’t smoke

Never have you ever looked more straight-edge…

Seeing normal people jump the turnstiles in the Paris metro

I just really don’t get this. Normal, and I mean “normal” normal people will skip paying the fare if they don’t have to.

Buying a baguette and it not being warm and toasty

baguette-aint-toasty

Wanting to sign up for a gym

People don’t go to the gym; they go to the public pool.

Showing up to the pool and having to buy a speedo out of the vending machine because you brought your American board shorts

speedo-paris

Stepping in dog poop

Literally happened to me and my flip flop two days ago

The sketchiness near parts of the Péripherique

Not to say that Porte de Clignancourt doesn’t have its own charm…

Nobody knows how to swipe your American debit card

C’mon America, we need the puce!

Green pharmacies don’t mean medical marijuana. All pharmacies are green.

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You’ll see grown ass adults riding scooters and make fun of them, but secretly wish you were them

You got me; I secretly want to be scootering around Paris with my future son

Trying to get anything done on a Sunday afternoon…or anytime in August

paris-is-dead

TV shows can start at random times like 08:50

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A general lack of respect for forming a line (you wait ten minutes and you’re next in line just when they open a new line and people behind you run to the line)

R-E-S-P-E-C-T was an American hit.

Forgetting to say “bon appétit” and diving into your meal instead

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No air-conditioning anywhere, and when you do manage to find air-conditioning, it’s just at room temperature

Just put on a fan…?

You can rip open cases of beverages for just one

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Oh, you want the whole package? Hold on, let me just ruin the whole thing for you because I just want one bottle.

Trying to decipher the nutrition facts that can be any font and any size and any design

Is it because most French foods aren’t completely radioactive by default that they don’t need the nutrition facts to be loud and proud in a uniform black and white design?

The fact that you sometimes have to put a photo of yourself on your resume irritates you

Just think of all the discrimination!


 

What are some other things you struggle with while living in Paris?

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  • Joao Cabral

    the speedo thing got me curious

  • Thomas Wamsteker

    Never. Ever. Will I sleep in a hotel in Porte de la Chapelle again. Never.
    Some of the other things are quite recognisable as a European.

  • Helen S

    lol! the swimsuit thing at the public piscine is totally true and unavoidable. see also: never having euro coins when you need one, trying to return a velib and the station is full/the empty spots are broken, and lining up with all of the other suckers to recharge your navigo on the first of every month (why you can’t have a navigo from say, the 15th to the 15th, is still a mystery to me. and yes you can reload it sooner but who actually remembers?).

  • Audrey Hickey

    I love your observations. I think I’ve experienced all of them living here. Why did they take out the moving sidewalk at Chatelet? Some struggles: not being able to find a boulangerie when you need one but seeing a hundred when you don’t need one. Wanting to do anything on Monday. Trying to read in the metro while someone plays terrible accordion music.

  • TakaTaka

    Even though I don’t live in Paris, these things are so true!! struggles!!! haha lol

  • Ashley

    This is awesome. Do you guys have any advice for just living in Paris as a mid-twenty-something, not a student?

  • Kml B

    I’m from Paris, and I agree. But it remains a charming irritation, right?!! O_o

    • As much as I love to hate on Paris, I keep on coming back! And I don’t plan on stopping any time soon. 😀

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