First of all, I would like to make it clear that this will be my personal opinion about Parisians and Paris. This is not a scientific research article, I am not writing this based on professional, recognized research for intellectual written media. This article is a small overview of my own thoughts in certain areas. I lived bit different lifestyle than average French, based on that, the circle of people, with whom I spent my time with, also gave a big impact of how I saw things and what’s familiar to me. I lived periodically in Paris from September 2013 until the end of 2016. Most of the times I enjoyed my time there. I wouldn’t say that this city is breathtaking but for sure it has its own charm and for sure I had some wonderful, pleasant and fun times. J’adore Paris!
People go to Paris in search of romanticism, architecture and this kind of an indescribable, magnificent feeling that this city can give to each one of us.
French are nationalists. A large population with their own feet on the ground and values for life, country, and the universe.
French is a beautiful language, not easy, though, so if you are good in languages and not lazy (like I am, if it is about learning a new language), then I would defiantly recommend you to learn French if you are planning to stay in France for some time. Even in a city like Paris, which is capital, biggest from all and has over 2 million people, it is difficult to communicate with locals if you don’t speak French. OK, if you will be like an average tourist and go only to main spots, for sure you will manage, but if you’re planning to live there for a long period of time and you want to experience how the locals live…French is a must. I got away without knowing French because I always do. In daily basis I could use English and when I needed French, someone helped me, I used translator, signs or whatever else came into my mind in those moments, but I can tell you, that I missed a lot of great things, which I could have had experienced in Paris during these years, if I would have had pushed myself harder to learn that @$%^&**$ language.
Oh, Parisians! Can’t forget about French people in Paris. Well…I like them. In their own sick way, they are binding. In moments friendly and talkative, interesting and original, in moments moody, angry and arrogant. Other times spaced out and in some, I really couldn’t understand a thing about them.
Women, oh, they are amazing! Independent, they love to work, passionate, self-confident and a bit crazy and sometimes can be a bit too much.
Men, well, a bit difficult to say. All sort of kinds. For me, most of them, they seemed to be a bit too feminine in their behavior. That comes with their culture, nothing wrong or bad in that, it is just my personal opinion and “thing”, that for some recent years I have „allergy” for that kind of men ha-ha. Don’t need to be a rude macho, but I always say that moderation is important in every aspect of life, also as an image of every human being. Also a lot of homosexuals, from truly lovely and funny human beings with a large heart to „drama queens”.
Children, I can’t really describe them, I haven’t been in touch with any more than 5 min, but as I saw from far, parents try to take the best care of them and try to teach how life works and hopefully they will appreciate it and try the best for themselves.
Elderly has their own style and most of them still enjoy their life fully, has their dreams and hopes. Are outgoing and interesting. Living the fullest and not counting years in their passport.
I like to watch how people behave, analyze them and communicate with them, without people, for me appealing is architecture, interior and design. It is kind of funny how French is. I would call them chaotic, ordinary life artists where the best approach of anything is to do everything upside down, in the same time, they are very neat, minimalistic minded and a bit of “Nazi” perfectionists.
In Paris very well together goes old with new. They have this special taste and skill, that they can turn into something original, modern and beautiful even the most boring, ugly and unnoticeable things. Extraordinary.
Some places can seem messy and alternative but it goes along with full outlook.
I don’t have one favorite place in Paris, I like several parks in Paris (yeah, I love nature, so Paris, thankfully has quite a lot green areas) and most of the small streets with good-looking buildings and all the cute and cozy cafes, like a nice old-fashioned postcard picture. As well, some alternative bars and cafes, some design shops and some random places, that if someone would ask directions, I wouldn’t be able to describe, just go with them and lead to the right way.
Of course, there are also downsides of Paris, well, let’s leave out the fact about political, economic and religious aspects. One of the downsides I will mention here – rubbish. Paris can be full of waste and nasty smell, especially during spring and summer. All thought, there is quite developed and regular waste collection system, it doesn’t help too much.
As well, there are a lot of homeless people even in the central and main areas, they don’t give trouble or bother people too much, they are actually quite kind and polite, it is just sad to see so many of them sleeping on old mattresses with their children in middle of the street, it sets off some kind of trigger in brain.
Sometimes can be a bit annoying that French don’t know English or even, just because of their principles, refuse to use it. On the other hand, I like the fact that they love and respect their language, culture an nation so much. So this one is 50/50.
I like Parisian lifestyle, well, at least some parts of it. I felt good while I was there, because it is multicultural, which makes it more appealing, different and interesting. It is a large city, so a lot of happenings and new things. It is known for its style and fashion, so I highly recommend to go there for a shopping spree, because it really has the best level. Women spread femininity also without high heels and minidresses. Simple, elegant, minimalistic and a bit bohemian style. Not at all or little makeup, sometimes red or colorful lipstick or mascara. People tend to be passionate about things in life, they are outgoing, talkative and friendly, but more within their own circle, less with unknown people.
I like active lifestyle and finally, I found a place where I really could say that it is a lifestyle. Parisians are not so much for hitting their goals 2 times per day in a gym on a treadmill or lifting heavy weights, they tend to move their body in more natural ways, doing activities which they can combine with things they need to do. For example, they like to walk everywhere (this is my number one! I love walking so much and finally, I was able to live in a place where people don’t think that I’m weird or I did something absolutely amazing if I tell them that I walked more than 5km a day ha-ha), they take stairs, a lot of buildings don’t have an elevator. Let’s not forget about metro, I know a lot of foreigners which takes only taxi or Uber, because of metro stairs and it’s own “net” is killing them ha-ha.
Paris is a dog-friendly city. Owners can take their four-legged friends in some small grocery shops, in big clothing shops, cafes, some restaurants etc. Their owners need to take them for a walk quite often, which they, most of the times, like to do. This means that there is a lot of dogs and I mean A LOT (yes, also a lot of merd on streets, already some time ago, the state passed new, stricter laws and fines due to non-picking up dog feces. All though, it still doesn’t work as good it should, there are still a lot of people, who think that because they are paying regularly high taxes, the state should pick up sh*t after they’re lovely, furry friends. Plus, police officers need to catch them on the act and so on. This is one of the major problems in Paris.
They have also children and they like to spend some time with them, so they go take a walk all together, play catch, play with a ball in the park or do whatever else.
Some go to yoga or pilates and, of course, there are some which go to the gym but generally that is not such a massive trend like it is in the USA, for example.
A lot of people also eats quite healthy, there is a lot of biological shops in Paris, where it is possible to buy not only for environment-friendly products but also some, which you wouldn’t be able to find in basic supermarkets.
Parisian women are known as skinny and as well, it is well known, that in French culture there is a lot of baguettes (a type of bread), all the pâtisseries and a lot of cheese and wine and a lot of dishes with à la crème. I have checked out by myself several cookbooks with national French dishes and most of them, I wouldn’t say, that has the healthiest and low-calorie ingredients, and still, women tend to stay skinny. I noticed that it really works out for them to be active on a daily basis like I mentioned before. They eat almost everything, but the key is that they don’t overeat. They take small amounts of everything that they crave for, so their taste buds are satisfied, but they don’t overdo it.
French likes culture. Opera, theatre, concerts, events, sports games etc, I like this as well, but this is where comes the language barrier. I didn’t experience much of this because, without the language knowledge, it is not the same. I went to some museums, some small, alternative performances, but that was very little from all what Paris can offer. I have heard good reviews and if I would be you, who knows French, I would give it a try.
I also like that Parisians like to gather together and make home parties or just chill in a park, having a picnic. I had my times when I liked to go to clubs and party all night till the sunrise in weekends, but now I prefer to go somewhere, see something if I feel in a party mode I still prefer to go to a home party where is close friends or at least interesting, funny people.
I always like to go back to Paris, it has some kind of atmosphere which attracts me, in the last couple of years I could even call it my home. I am not able to say that I would like to spend the rest of my life in Paris, but, for sure, I will go back one day.
It would be nice to hear from You, what kind of experience you had in Paris or other French cities. Would You like to visit it? What kind of impact would You like to have from Your visit?