January 19, 2016

Life In Paris


We've been living in Paris full time for three months now (after my 1.5 years of commuting from Normandy), and I have a few observations to make:

There is a lot of dust. 
And I mean a lot! I thought that living in the country, surrounded by vineyards and la garrigue would mean serious dust, but the Minervois has absolutely nothing on Paris. Our vacuum cleaner is getting quite the work out.

Uber rocks.
That's all I need to say about that.

Watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle every night makes me happy. 
Yes, we have that cliché "American in Paris" view. Which, as it turns out, is fabulous.
I never thought I could be such a sap.

Pedestrians are cocky.
They walk right up to you and expect you to move out of their way. They step out in the middle of the street in front of oncoming traffic. They ignore the "Don't Walk" sign. They're lucky they're still alive.


Access to such an abundance of ingredients from around the world amazes me.
Spend 12+ years living in rural France and you'll know what I mean.

The level of English spoken here means that my French is suffering.
Again, spend 12+ years living in rural France and you'll know what I mean.

The wine selection could be better.
There are some good shops scattered around town, but why is there so much attachment to Bordeaux? Seriously? My dear Parisians, time for you to branch out and explore some of the lesser known French wine making regions. You'll be happy that you did.

La Poste lies.
Constantly and consistently.


The people are lovely.
You've all heard the stereotypes and I've touched on this subject before...I don't care what some people say, we have found it easy to get "in" with the local shopkeepers, restaurant owners, etc. Of course there are jerks in Paris, it's a big city after all. That's life.

And life in Paris is pretty damn good.

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Ksam said...

Yes, yes and yes. I wish it was mandatory for all expats to spend a few years in the countryside so that they get past the "life in the French countryside is idyllic" + realize how good they have it in Paris.

David said...

For some reason, there is a fixation on Bordeaux. I think it's because there is a proliferation of the, um, inexpensive stuff and it's impressive to say they're drinking "Bordeaux."

Glad to hear you're surviving the daily game of "chicken" on the sidewalks! : )

Darina Nykl said...

Living in Paris....that's one of my dreams...thank you for taking me back for a while..

Anonymous said...

I completely agree about the wine selection, as odd as it sounds. Last time visiting, our waitress introduced us to Jurancon and we've never looked back. And, yes, she was beyond polite, and very nice, excellent service, as we've come to expect from Paris.

People need to realize that Paris is to France what New York City is to the U.S.: it both is and is not representative of the country as a whole in very interesting and unexpected ways, but one thing for sure is that one should not consider oneself of have visited France or the U.S. if your visit was confined to Paris or NYC.

The Beaver said...


There are too many of those wealthy owners of those wineries from la Gironde who have "pignon sur rue" in Paris :-)

bonnie poppe said...

I have lived in rural southern France for nearly 7 years .... my "big city" 40 minutes away has been Beziers. Oh dear. I'm now transitioning, I hope, to Provence, not far from Avignon & Arles. You are so right about Bordeaux, my American friends and my European ones as well feel the same. There is some good wine in Provence, but Chateauneuf du Pape is terribly overrated and far more expensive than its worth. I have spent 6 months in Paris over various times, and always found the Parisians to be really nice and accommodating. I would only give Paris bad marks for the weather (I'm from California) and no place to have a garden. Otherwise fabulous. Bastille Market in December with how many kinds of oysters, 40?80? I'm glad you're there, enjoying every bit of it!

Graham said...

Plenty of really exciting wine shops to be found these days. Try the 11em. Of course anything that isn't French is rare and over priced.

Jennifer Greco said...

I'm glad I've been able to have the experience of living in both the country and in Paris. It really does put things into perspective!

The daily game of "chicken" is annoying and bizarre. Why are they like that? What does it prove? (questions that I'm sure cannot be answered!) :)

Jennifer Greco said...

You're welcome! Thanks for stopping by.

Completely agree about the Paris/NY comparison.

Jennifer Greco said...

Is that why? :)

Good luck with your transition! Avignon and Arles are much nicer than Béziers. I'm sure you'll settle in just fine.

Jennifer Greco said...

We were spoiled by spending 9 years in the Minervois, so have found the wine choices in Paris to be disappointing. I need to arrange regular shipments from our neighbors down south!

Andi said...

So glad that you are settled in and enjoying (or not enjoying in some cases) life in Paris. We visit every year, but it is not quite the same as living there and I still have the dream to get a whole year there somehow.

BayouFrog said...

Happy Mardi Gras from Louisiana!

(Sorry to be so off-topic.)


Jennifer Greco said...

You're right, visiting is definitely not the same as living full time. :) We love that we still have our little house in the south to escape to every so often.