You know you’ve been in Paris too long when…

24 Nov

Stereotype of a Frenchman

The Stereotypical Frenchman

– You mutter and swear in French under your breath. Because everything sounds angrier in French, P***** de m****!
– You’ve learnt the art of queuing sideways. Waiting in line is for wimps: in order to get anywhere in life, edge forwards slowly whilst facing to the side. Sneaky and effective. Bonus points if you shoot glaring looks at people who dare to object.
– You’re horrified at the thought of starting the day without your fresh baguette from the local bakery and scoff at the idea of eating the British version of croissants and patisseries.
– You hear the dreaded word ‘Greve’ and hardly bat an eyelid. Just a standard day of wrestling with public transport strikes then.
– Your head is a constant metro map. When someone mentions a new bar, your first thought is – what metro line is that on?
– Your night at the aforementioned bar is cut short at midnight because you have to take the last train home.
– You spend hours trying to find a specific place and somehow end up on the opposite Bank of the Seine you started on. Yet you claim to know Paris like the back of your hand.
– You roll your eyes at the tourists and their clichéd photo opportunities. Possibly accompanied by some serious head shaking and mutterings of: ‘Ah, les tourists!’
– You deliberately stand in their way when they’re trying to take these photos.
– You no longer feel the need to say ‘bonjour’ to people. Politeness is just a waste of time.

What do you think? Feel free to add your own ideas!


10 Responses to “You know you’ve been in Paris too long when…”

  1. Natalie November 24, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    I love some of the french customs, I still eat a croissant or pain au chocolat every morning, even living in London, I still tut at tourists who stop in the middle of the road to take photos and take up the ENTIRE pavement, I use words in english that dont exist because I have just translated them from french (‘manifestation’ sounds so much better than ‘protest’!) I can’t think of a meal without cheese in it and scoff at people who know nothing about wine (keeping red wine in the fridge??? what???!!!) but I think these little customs and habits are a really lovely thing to keep from a culture, and I do wonder what people keep from England.

  2. Kate Thomas November 24, 2010 at 10:09 pm #

    That Saturday nights have to be spent in front of reality TV with a take away? Translating words wrong is a familiar one – it sounds so right though.

  3. hannahmayk November 24, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    haha this made me laugh. One of my friends from uni lived in Paris for a year, I will have to show her your blog! x

  4. Nicola Hebden November 24, 2010 at 10:59 pm #

    French people are forever saying Bonjour! I must’ve said bonjour a million times to neighbours and colleagues last year. But that’s as far as the conversation goes.
    I concluded it was about keeping up appearences.

  5. Kate Thomas November 24, 2010 at 11:01 pm #

    Haha, very true! It’s all about giving off the impression of being polite.

  6. Lucy Smaill November 24, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

    Haha, massively agree, especially les tourists. I remember avoiding the Eiffel Tower during the British School Holiday in particular. But I do not miss the tutting, not one bit. I don’t think I’ve ever been tutted so much in my life as in Paris!

  7. Constance November 25, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    How refreshing! It’s rare to hear foreigners say the French give an impression of politeness.
    Not that we aren’t to blame for that. Never do we arrive on time at dinners (well except for Kate, but can she really count as a French girl?), we are surprised when a waiter is agreeable to us(why would he be? it’s not like he’s going to get a tip…) and we tend to think we have the monopoly of culture and good-taste. Oh how I love my country. Yes, I forgot to mention we are also annoyingly nationalistic.

  8. t.on.air March 19, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    This cracks me up. Thanks!

    • Kate Thomas March 19, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

      I may be stereotyping the French but it’s pretty true!
      Like your blog 🙂


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