Bellanda in Paris is my guest blogger today. Explaining what it’s like to live in beautiful, romantic Paris. The city of love.
Ahhhh… Paris! City of lights… City of romance… City of love! I mean really, could a city like this ever really suck? I’m not going to go over all of the things that make this city incredible, because frankly, I think we all pretty much know that already. I am however going to take a closer look at some of the things that could happen in a typical day based on personal experience. We all know this city is indeed a truly amazing place to visit, but whether you are a tourist or a resident, there are some things one can’t deny… Paris can and does suck at times.
Oh, I can feel some of you getting your defences in an uproar, ready to pounce and defend one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but just hold off for a moment. Let’s start simple.
Ever notice the number of cute little dogs prancing around on leashes or being carried in those stylish bags by their owners? One might say that these French dogs are cute, chic even, until you’ve ruined a truly lovely pair of shoes stepping in their not so chic poo.
Now, I’m certainly not saying that no one in Paris cleans up after their dogs… but I am saying that for this typical day, you might want to wear galoshes so you can clean them easily if and when the occasion presents itself. Things get a little more complicated if you are fashion conscious. I know, you might decide to wear those gorgeous shoes you bought especially for Paris. I can’t blame you, but I can warn you that you will need to learn how to walk like a Parisian.
Ready? It really is quite simple and I bet you won’t even need to practice before venturing out on your own. Before you take your first step outside, look down. Keep your head down, and watch your every step along the way. Now, you might say to yourself, okay, but I will miss the Eiffel Tower, gorgeous buildings, cute little cobblestone streets and shops. To that I say, yes, but you can’t expect to have it all now… can you?
Ah, you are a quick study and you’ve arrived at the Metro with your shoes in perfect condition! How wonderful! You can pick your head up and look forward again. Well, actually… to be safe, I recommend you look in all directions with your hands on your phone, wallet and anything else you hold dear. This usually makes holding onto that dirty pole inside the metro car a challenge, but you are in luck! You get to experience a partial metro strike, so you won’t have to hold on at all! Just remember to use your body and push like crazy when the doors open, because you don’t want to let go of those important things. If you can get inside the metro car, you have proved yourself worthy of being canned like a sardine with all of those Parisians and should feel a little less like an outsider. Don’t worry, the little old woman screaming at you, is just upset because you stepped on her foot by mistake.
Oh, check this out! This really is your lucky day! Due to the lack of space inside the metro car, now no one can hit you up for money. Add that to the fact that it is not summer! This means you are limited to just the regular pee smells one normally deals with. It also means your skin will not be rubbing against someone else’s sweaty flesh! Oh, I almost forgot. Try not to be alarmed or offended by those wandering hands that “accidentally” touch you. I’m sure they were just trying to rob you and didn’t mean to feel you up. I know you are not worried as you’ve taken my advice and have that covered. You will be going home with your wallet today!
You are doing well! You’ve arrived at your metro stop, but apparently the majority of the people in the train with you have too, and now you have been pushed out. I know you wanted to wear those really great shoes, but they have caused you to fall in the mad rush of people and you have hurt your ankle.
You’re new here, so you are an optimist and say to yourself happily, “I can’t believe I’m in Paris! I’m not going to let a little injury like this get me down. ” You look around at the metro map. What a truly miraculous underground system! You smile while listening to some musicians playing for their keep, while a drunken man sits with comatose eyes and another is screaming profanities at everyone who walks by. You really didn’t want to sit anyway, so you’ll just hobble your way to the exit.
You start following those superbly labeled signs, SORTIE. You might even giggle to yourself that you are like trained rats going upstairs, then downstairs… down long tunnels, turning, oh wait SORTIE, more stairs going up. You really would have liked to help that poor woman with the baby carriage go up the stairs, but your ankle is killing you. As you walk down what appears to be your last long tunnel before going up more stairs, you ask yourself what all new people to this lovely city do, “What does someone who’s handicapped do?”
Oh, don’t fret your pretty little head about details like that, you are in Paris! Besides, you really need to go and buy a few things before heading back to that two room apartment you are renting for 1600 Euros a month.
You’ve managed to find everything you need at the supermarket, and only had one person flailing arms and making that Phiff sound behind you because you were moving too slowly. Oops! You picked the wrong line. Isn’t that always the way? Even in Paris you manage that! You chuckle at the humor of the situation, as another register opens up. You politely offer the first spot to the people in front of you, only to get trampled by those behind you. Okay, that one surprised you, but hey, you’re in Paris! It’s your turn and once you have paid for not only your groceries, but your bags, you are ready to go home. Thank goodness you live around the corner!
A woman smiles at you as she passes you, and you smile back, proving to everyone around you that you are both expats but you don’t care, this is Paris! You are now living in Paris! You are caught up in your thoughts and forget to look down, and of course just in front of your doorway, you realize you should have worn those galoshes. But hey, this is Paris and a little dog poo never killed anyone. Besides a real Parisian once told me, “I can’t believe all the merde de chien there is in Nice!”
So, silly me! How could I ever have thought to say Paris sucks? Just walking you through a typical day warms my heart. My apologies… I love Paris, in spite of itself. ;)
Bellanda in Paris
You can find out more about Bellanda and her art, creations and life in Paris.
At her website http://bellandaphoto.com/
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Or on Twitter. @BellandaInParis
6 thoughts on “Why Paris Sucks”
"So, silly me! How could I ever have thought to say Paris sucks? Just walking you through a typical day warms my heart. My apologies… I love Paris, in spite of itself."
Glad you found something to like about Paris. The experiences you mentioned as reasons not to like it befuddled me. None of that happened to me when I lived there.And what train are you on when someone is groping you? That sounds more like Japan not France. And the dirty pole in the metro car? Same thing in San Francisco, NYC, Chicago…
And the dog poop? Much worse in NYC and many other European countries.I never noticed a problem as the streets were quite clean, unlike many cities in America which are grimy.
Just glad you finally got to enjoy the place.
Thank you for this illuminating piece on the city of light. It is always good to know that the image of perfect Paris is not quite as perfect as it may seem. To not be aware of this in advance of any visit could lead to unnecessary disappointment.
Now all I need to do is decide whether to pack cheap shoes or learn a jaunty Parisian poostep.
Thank you again
This certainly casts Paris in a whole new light for me.
It sounds an awful lot like Washington, DC. :)
I've heard of a disorder called the Paris Syndrome where (usually) Japanese tourists, who have this glorified image of the city, actually arrive and realize how it was so different from their vision, the disappointment and shock drives them into hysterics and temporary insanity. Maybe we've been listening to too many advertisers trying to pitch holes where there's supposed to be castles.
This is the Lousiest City in the World! My mind cannot process the idea that so many people dream about going there. IT SUCKS! It really does. IT SUCKS! Every third man is white, there is trash EVERYWHERE, but in the trash bins, NOONE speaks english, everyone is rude and everyone smokes.
It’s like in the episode of Unhappily Ever After in which Jack introduced Mr. Floppy into the basement of his house smelling like dirty socks and underwear, but with cigarette smoke also.
Everything there is really expensive, and everyone is trying to fool you for money.
There are actually beggars, that make more money than 60% of the people there.
Perhaps the French Province is good, but Paris really sucks. If you dream about it then stop!
It WILL dissapoint you. The Eiffel Tower, that they praise so deeply is nothing more then a dirty pile of steel, surrounded by minorities! Nothing, you wouldn’t see in your own country.
There are a few interesting places in Paris, but the tower isn’t. In the summer there are peasant-minded “parisians” who go there and bathe in the dirty River Seine in their towels and lie on the grass for hours. No comment.
If you want to see a pretty small town in Europe – go to Oberstdorf. Or anywhere in Bavaria, and/or Switzerland and/or Austria. Do not waste time in Paris.
You will spend more money, be treated like crap, and lose your temper there.
I’m going to assume Teodor was joking; less scary that way. Paris is a wonderfully clean, airy and sometimes civilized city. I’d compare it closely to Washington, DC. And like DC, it has warts, some of those warts (neighborhoods) rather dangerous. Still, the city is well over a thousand years old. There is great beauty in even its oldest, more dodgy sections. If not for the expense, the crowding and the rudeness of hurly-burly (all symptoms of ANY big urban environment), I’d love to live there again.
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