The Ultimate Parisian Cliché Buster

It has been a week since I have touched down in Paris and the only thing being debunked, other than the cash inside my wallet, is all the clichés that you are so HARSHLY told in US before coming to Europe.  Between the congratulations, the “excited for you!” exclamations and packing tips, you are always left with words of wisdom from someone who has probably never been to Europe before.  These prophetic words usually always consist of:

  • “Parisians are snooty, good luck!”
  • “Bring deodorant- no one sells it and no one wears it.”
  • “All you will eat is bread!”
  • “Will you buy a beret?”
  • “Every city is the same.”
  • “City of love!!!”
  • “Do not pack a lot of clothes”

It is almost second nature, a mantra in my head, to hear these words, but I am here to say that this is all (partially) a LIE.  I can attest to the fact that most of these are indeed faux.

  • “Parisians are snooty, good luck!” Not true! The French attitude is truly an idealistic state of mind and being.  Parisians confidently walk the streets, confidently order at restaurants, and not only embody the essence of social style but also the essence of how to enjoy life.  Arrogance, snootiness, anger- that is all derived from the perception of someone who cannot appreciate this way of life!  Parisians live day to day as if they are a piece of art on a candid town, there is absolute certainty in the fact that tourists (like such that claim their rudeness) fail to understand that it is their own arrogant touristy inhabiting the town!
  • “Bring deodorant no one sells it and no one wears it.” Okay, no one smells. I refute this claim.  In fact, if you were not aware, Paris is the largest metropolitan of style and fashion.  Everyone owns expensive perfume and everyone smells très bien.  If not a purchased odor, take a step on the street and smell the freshly baked bread made by the hour.  The scents of Paris are an experience in itself, and I would see a doctor if you have the slightest idea it smells bad.
  • “All you will eat is bread!” I regret (or applaud) the amount of bread and pastries I have consumed. I was lost before ever tasting a French pastry.
  • “Will you buy a beret?” If your immediate response to this is not a laugh, then I am going to need you to reconsider the history and sociological classes and cues that you have learned thus far in your life.
  • “Every city is the same.” NOT true! In fact, it is amazing how different Paris is from every city in the United States.  It is the people, the culture, the food, the ambiance- truly a fairytale that cannot be expressed.
  • “City of love!!!” Once again, I admit this is true. Love is Parisian culture.  Intense, erotic, genuine love from a friendship to a relationship.  It is beautiful to see these counterparts amongst the city and it is beautiful to be reminded each day that we humans thrive off love.
  • “Do not pack a lot of clothes” Once again, debunked! Laundry is terrible and having the most clothes to get you through the longest period you can is a lifesaver.  Europeans also largely appreciate style and having a wardrobe that reflects your personality is a strong trait.

Last resort, if none of this convinces you or you would really like to know for yourself, book a one way to Paris.  Seems to be working out for me so far.

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One thought on “The Ultimate Parisian Cliché Buster

  1. The only caveat I’ve found to #2 is that everywhere sells it, but if you want to buy it you have to prepared to pay a small fortune for it. (Compared to the UK, where a bottle of deodorant would cost c. £1.) It’s a shame when people allow stereotypes to cloud their vision – especially when cities like Paris are wonderful to visit. As for #3 – while there’s certainly a lot on offer, I can never resist a crusty baguette!

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