What comes to mind when you think of Paris? Baguette, chocolate, wine, sex, cheese, amour? Yes i think these are the most common things you might identify Paris with but the reality my friends is much more cloudy and dark than those pleasurable words i just wrote. Today was just another day in Paris dealing with the bureaucracy and trying to get some sun before it disappears for days. Almost no one wants to talk about how bad things in Paris really are. Every time i read about this city is almost always about the good side of it; it’s like people want to keep it a big secret. But why? Because they want to lie to people back home and pretend that Paris is the most beautiful place in the world when it isn’t. I recommend to visit but never live here. Here are some of the bad experiences i’ve had here so far. You can see from my other blogs that i am usually a positive person but there is a time for everything and this is the time for complaining about the truth of Paris.
Paris , Je T’aime
Yes yes, we have all heard and read that phrase before and honestly it encourages you to love Paris without ever even being here. I’ve loved France since i was a teenager; that was the time i had fallen in love with Napoleon Bonaparte and plastered my room with a lot of pictures of him. He seemed so powerful and i was attracted by that. I even made my little cousins name their two puppies Josephine and Napoleon thanks to the love i had for him and his country . One of my dreams was to travel to France someday and visit all the castles he lived in and to see his tomb. Later on i read that French was the most beautiful language in the world and i believed it so much i decided one day i would also learn this magical tongue. The macaroons i used to eat back home at The Erewhon markets were not real French Macaroons and i wanted to eat the real thing. The Paris Baguette Korean bakery in Los Angeles would never come close to the boulangeries in France, i was almost sure of that. That dream was alive deep inside me through out many years and so it goes ; one day i met my french husband who brought me to live here in Paris. The journey of my life as a real French woman in society began.
Get Your Feet Off The Chair, this is not America!
When we arrived at CDG airport a woman yelled at my kid when she was playing on the waiting chairs. She was very angry at my kid for getting on top of the chair as i phoned my husband. When i told him this story i laughed about it, it didn’t bother me at all. I thought it was so cute and accurate how all the stories about the French being grumpy were true. This was the birth of pains. My husband complaint about things that i would usually not complain about in LA(he is French). He warned me about France’s ways and the rude Parisians but i smiled about it happy to be finally here. I was sure i would be able to take it, to love it and never complain like they did. As we parked the car he told me ” All the cars are stick shift here so you are going to have to learn to drive this kind. And you can only drive for about a year with your license after that you have to take a test and go to driving school which will be about 2000 euros, it’s the law here ! I am not sure we want to pay that just to drive here no?” I didn’t care, not yet.
Where The Sun Go?
The fist three months were a delight! I loved the weather, it was so hot not at all like French people had told me about. It was a great summer and i even got to visit the South of France. It was the perfect weather to wear all my little skirts and dresses. Once September arrived it got a little bit more cool but still nothing to complain about. I wondered why my husband kept urging me to buy big puffy jackets at the local marchet every time we went. He seemed worried and asked if the owner had turned the radiators on yet. November came and i could no longer wear any of my California clothes. It was pretty cold but nothing to make me cry until one night. The weather channel was wrong, i was sure of that, they were saying it would be _12 degrees in Paris. What did that feel like? I wondered. Feeling it in my bones that night, little by little, as the temperature dropped and dropped the amount of socks i put on added up to five pairs. The days were shorter and the temperatures were under 0 degrees after that. The sun was gone from then on. The sky was always covered with clouds and it rained almost every day. The sun would not show it’s sunny face again until around late May next year.
Cold Wind,Rude People And More
We visited many restaurants and places around this time and the first encounters with Parisians still hunt me(because they keep repeating ). There was a very rude cashier at at Bien Marchet who made faces at us as we asked him questions about the gluten-free bread on display. I had never felt so unwelcome before; It’s like he wanted us to leave him alone and not buy anything. Everyone in Paris wore black and walked as quickly as possible. Soon after arrival i started wearing black too. It’s like a code” leave me alone code”. No one says hi or talks to you, everyone keeps to themselves; specially at metro stations. People pushed us to the side to pass through. My husband told me the rules that must be followed. He explained to me that Parisians think it’s cool to be rude and that is why they act like that. He hates Paris for this and many other reasons. The time we went to apply for my papers to stay in the country the woman at the Prefecture told us it was impossible to do it from France and that i must leave the country. Later on she agreed that it was okay for me to stay in the country after my husband had yelled and acted French in front of her. She informed us that we had to go to a different location. After we went to the different location we waited for seven hours just to make an appointment to come back to ask if it was possible to apply, again. Finally, we had an appointment and a list of all the things we must bring with us for the big date. The big date was three months from then so we waited patiently.
Another Reason To Hate Paris?
The day came and we had all the paperwork ready. There was nothing standing in my way even though my husband didn’t seem too convinced that everything would be fine this time either. Once we got there we waited an hour even though we had an appointment. It was not bad so i laughed about it and ate a home made sanwdwish instead of complaing. When they called us the lady asked us for the list of things they had requested. My husband handed her all the paperwork ,he was almost trembling of fear or anger. She told us that she needed a no more than three-month old marriage certificate and two bills that showed both of our names on it. My husband was red, ready to blow up again. We had about six proof of address letters that she didn’t like, not even the insurance one. She insisted that they had to be more serious papers that could prove that we were really a serious couple. We had school paper work, insurance, phone bills, marriage certificate, photos and many other things she didn’t like. We were very upset, these things were not specified on the list they had given us the first time. None of the things she demanded were on the list. She said we had to come back and make another appointment. Once we were at the desk to make appointments the uncaring,cold and rude woman told us we had to go to the building next door to make a line to make an appointment. My husband informed her that we had done that last time and it was about seven hour wait. She opened the drawer in front of her and handed him a paper and told him it would be easier to go on-line to make an appointment. He double checked by asking if it was for everyone because it was our first time applying; she assured him it was for everything and everyone. Well, once we got home we tried making the appointment and we couldn’t . It said it was NOT for first time applicants. We called and the woman who answered explained to us that we had to go back and make appointment in person. Why do i stay in Paris you ask? Because i am living my dream that is why! I have seen Napoleon’s things, I’m learning French and i love chocolate. No, not really, i am here waiting for my husband to be able to work in the USA so we can get! And my kid is doing pretty good with her French too so yeah…