Friday, November 6, 2009

Confessions of a Parisian

So I've been living here for about seven months now. I know the streets, I speak the language, I walk the walk. I don't make eye contact on the metro and I hold my handbag on my crooked elbow. I'm making every effort to fit in as a true Parisian. But I have a confession to make, something that may shock you to your very core: I am not une vraie parisienne.

Want to know why?

  1. I have never been to Colette. While many consider this concept store/gallery to be a fashion (and Paris) institution, I've never found myself popping in for a browse. Although with the Rodarte exhibition ending this weekend, I may just have to go and check it out before it's too late.
  2. I have never ridden a Vélib'. It could be because of hassles with my bank, meaning I don't have a chip-embedded bank card to get a bike out in the first place. It could be because I secretly hate bikes. It could be that I'm drawn to the metro, with its odours of urine and abundance of buskers. Who can tell? To my credit, I have ridden Vélo'v.
  3. I have never eaten foie gras, escargot, steak-haché... So far I'm still a vegetarian and I intend on staying that way.
  4. I wear colour! The French are big on their neutrals and black (check out Amelia's post for a great summary of French style.) My red spotty coat certainly stands out here.

How can I redeem myself? Please, pass on your favourite Paris tips so I can make the most of my remaining time in the city of light.


  1. I wish I had some Paris tips for you, but I'm living vicariously through your blog!! And Parisiennes don't wear colour? Quelle domage!

  2. Well, certainly not as much rouge as I do!

  3. Eeeee! Hello, you! Nice post!!!

  4. Parisian here, and I've never ridden a Velib' either... yet. I'm sure my mind will change once I find myself stuck at night on the other side of town, with a choice between paying extra for a taxi ride, and simply enjoying more of the night on a bike...

  5. For shame, Xavier! I want to be all over that bicycle goodness.

  6. Yeah, well, you know me... Well actually no, but had you, you'd know I've had a few years where I didn't really have a use for them. Might grab a card, just for the hell of being able to do it at night... and spend half an hour looking for a place to park it :)

  7. Xavier, you'll be happy to know that I popped my Velib' cherry Saturday night. There's nothing like the freedom of a bike in night air when it's gently drizzling.