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3 Things Living in Paris Has Taught Me So Far

It has been a little over three and a half weeks since I moved to Paris for the semester and it is safe to say that living in Paris has definitely been a learning experience.


I am very familiar with Paris because I have family members who live here, and I’d come to visit them every two years or so. However, actually living here has given me a whole new perspective on navigating the city and the people of Paris. I remember telling myself, “It’ll be easy for you, Line. You’ve lived in New York and you survived. Paris will be a piece of cake.”


Well…somewhat. The one thing that really struck me when I arrived here was how polite local Parisians actually are. Whenever I passed someone in the hallway or entered a boulangerie – the French word for ‘bakery’ – I would always receive a warm “bonjour” or “bonne soirée.” There is a universal stereotype about Parisians and how they are always rude and indifferent. However, I think that it truly depends on where you are living and the context of the situations. Yes, Parisians tend to be a little rude on subways, as everyone is rushing in and out to get to their destinations, but hey, New Yorkers are sort of the same in that regard.


Secondly, the one difference I’ve seen, experienced so far, and have been told about is the manner in which one experiences and enjoys food. In New York it’s very common to eat on the go; bagel in one hand and a grande latte or coffee in the other. Here in Paris, the food culture is completely different. People here actually sit in the cafe, eat their croissant or pain au chocolat, and drink their coffees peacefully. I’ve been trying to get into that mentality and what I’ve noticed is that I’m beginning to enjoy my breakfast and my mornings a little bit more and don’t feel as rushed or stressed anymore.


Thirdly, I’ve never used the French language as much as I have here in France. Generally, I only speak French with my parents or relatives, but since I’m in Paris and I’m fluent in French, it’s been the perfect opportunity for me to really have conversations with people who are not my parentals. It has been a great experience, especially since I am also taking a class taught in French. Immersing myself in French and those who speak French has been enriching.


Even though it’s only been a few weeks, I’ve started to slowly fall in love with the pace of Paris. It’s slower than New York’s, but it feels right. It feels like the perfect place for me to be here right now.

New York will always be my first love, but hey, a little flirting with Paris can’t hurt.


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