Oh Paris! I have to say this is the one place where my reality and my expectation we’re dramatically different. At the end of my Europe trip I wanted to spend time with my cousin so I took 2 weeks to visit Paris. Here are some things that surprised me about the city of romance.
- THE GRIME. Paris is kind of grimy. It reminded me a lot of New York. I think this was extra shocking to me because I just didn’t think it would be at all. Especially coming after London which is extremity clean. My cousin who lives in Paris says it’s a part of the charm.
- PICKPOCKETS. Pickpocketing is a thing out here. It’s actually a problem throughout Europe they they even announce it on the trains so keep small things like your phones and stuff close to you! I didn’t feel unsafe or like a target but I did make sure to keep the important stuff in compartments that zip. I heard too many crazy stories from friends that visited and lived here!
- CHIVALRY? I had this problem throughout Europe so far. Back in America, men often offer to help if they see you struggling or hold the door for you but I did not experience the same vibe in Europe. My cousin thinks it’s because men and men are more equal here so they view you more as your equal either way it was interesting to see. The men are not “mean” by any means, it’s just a different vibe. This has been my experience in London, Amsterdam and Paris so I can’t speak on the rest of Europe.
- IT RAINS A LOT. This is the same shocker I had in the Netherlands. People have to stop giving England the wrap for rainy weather. This region of Europe in general is pretty rainy.
- THEY ALLOW DOGS IN RESTAURANTS. This was interesting to me cause it’s such a no no in the States. But you know I’m all for it!
- NO SMOKING DOESNT EXIST. Unless you’re inside, expect smoke to be blown in your face. Almost everywhere is no smoking in the major cities in US so this is something I didn’t even think about until it kept happening repeatedly. One restaurant had a designated spot for no smoking outside but they did not enforce it at all. Smoking is still very much a large part of the culture here.
- SUBWAY. Sometimes the doors don’t open on the train and you have to push a button or a pull a lever to open the door. People are so used to it they even push the button before the train is fully stopped and hop out! I did it once while it was still moving a bit and felt so Parisian haha. Good thing my sister mentioned this to me! On her first trip to Paris she missed her stop cause she was waiting for the door to open and it never did!
- WALKING. Sometimes walking is just as fast as the train so often times we just walked 30 minutes to get somewhere instead of bothering with the metro. I LOVE that people walk so much in Europe.
- FRESH ORANGE JUICE. The grocery stores all have machines that squeeze fresh orange juice and you fill an empty bottle they provide. I can no longer drink orange juice in America again, it has forever been ruined. I didn’t even really like orange juice but after Paris I’m obsessed, I never knew it could taste that good. Seriously if you ever go to Paris go to a grocery store and get some fresh squeezed OJ!
- THE PASTRIES. Parisians know how to do baked goods. O. M. G. Another thing that will be forever ruined for me in the States! I don’t think I can ever eat a croissant again outside of France!
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I went to Paris this past April for my birthday! First time out the country! I never found it grimey. What area did you go? It’s such a beautiful ornate quaint charming city to me. One thing that WAS shocking was the smoking! OMG LAWD Parisians smoke like its part of the air! Everywhere walking eating drinking they have smoke parties… I had to shoo a group away when they came out the building where I was waiting for brour bus they surrounded me literally anc I had to go HEY HEY HEY! I need to breath! 😩 but other than the gypsies the African hustlers I had an unforgettable time! Lmao