I recently was blessed to take a trip to Paris. I’ve been out of the country before, but this was my first time outside of North America. It was a fun, eye-opening experience that made me realize how different cultures are, but yet are still the same. I’ll break down three things that stood out to me about my trip to Paris.
One of the first things that stood out to me is the lap of luxury in Paris, soon as you step off the airplane and walk down the terminal you’re greeted with all the luxury stores you can think of. Gucci, Burberry, Fendi, Louie any luxury brand you can think of. Next thing Paris is just like New York City, being the fashion capital of the world and the capital of Paris it is crowded. Traffic is terrible, think the traffic of NYC, Washington D.C., and L.A. combined and that’s traffic in Paris. No wonder so many people walk, bike, or take public transportation.
Fashion! Parisians take great pride in the way they look. For the most part they are very casual and low key, but you can tell they put a lot of thought in what they are going to wear. Their choice of attire is also very modest nothing that really brings attention to them. Paris is known for access to a lot of great wine, but Parisians also love to smoke. I was shocked at the amount of Woman who smoke, and they smoke just about anywhere they can. They smoked so much I was curious if there are any anti-smoking campaigns in the country.
Hopping on the train especially during rush hour, be prepared to throw some elbows to get on the train. It quickly becomes a madhouse to make the train and feel like a can of sardines until your next stop. At the mall and need to use the restroom, be prepared to pay the cashier at the front desk to use the restroom. Parisians enjoy their time with their families and appreciate time off from work. A lot of stores and supermarkets are closed by 8:00 pm, and they have 35 hour work weeks. When you’re finished eating at a restaurant, there is no rush to kick you out the wait staff politely checks on you periodically until you ask for the check. For the places that do open late, such as nightclubs Parisians sure know how to party.
Some of the stereotypes are true, cafes in Paris are plentiful and appear to be at every corner. Drinking their espresso and reading a book is in the norm in Paris. Cafes are such a big thing their McDonald’s have legit cafes in them, on par with Starbucks. There are crepe stands everywhere just like we have hot dog stands everywhere. This was my first time ever having crepes and they are quite good. Next to crepes their next sweet of choice macaroons.
They love their bread, often baked fresh daily. Bread comes with nearly every meal and there are plenty of sandwich options. There’s so much bread by day 2 of my trip I was on bread overload and was trying to avoid it as much as I could. There was one fast food place called “Quick” man their burgers gave McDonald’s a serious run for their money.
Their food does not contain as much “junk” such as artificial sweeteners, preservatives, etc. I bought a bag of potato chips and while crispy, crunchy, and good it’s not as salty as chips in America. Their sodas do not contain as much carbonation and fizz. Even their ground beef doesn’t wear you down like it does here. Portion sizes are small but enough to fill someone up, especially if a lot of walking will be done.
Supermarkets offer stands where shoppers can squeeze their own oranges for fresh orange juice. Other than bacon, pork isn’t really an option on their menu(s). Paris has a strong Asian population which was a shocker to me. That meant there were plenty of Pho spots and Japanese restaurants around.
The lack of junk in their food in addition to walking, means a lot of Parisians aren’t obese. Without getting too political, and knowing the obvious answer it makes me annoyed as to why the U.S. government refuses to really regulate how much artificial crap is really put into our food.
Paris has a lot of history. A lot of things I now have the privilege to say that I have seen in person and inspired me to see more of the world. The Palace of Versailles which was the home of the French Royals, the various King Louis's during their respective reigns. A massive castle and landscape that was huge beyond words, makes you wonder what someone could possibly do with all that land.
The world famous Louvre which is the world’s largest art museum. Which contained the original painting of the Mona Lisa painting. Being able to have dinner inside the Eiffel Tower and see it in person and how tall it really is was awe inspiring. The Notre Dame church where I didn’t find Quasimodo, waiting to ring the bell. The Arc de Triomphe which is busy as hell, good luck trying to play in that traffic. Narrow alleys with cobblestone pathways. Buildings that have stood for thousands of years, just the entire history of the city. There was even more places to see that I didn't get a chance to.
I highly recommend that if you can, get out there and see the world. From other countries versions of ghettos, to where the royals reside or use to reside. There is so much out there to see, and will make you appreciate what you have at home, or figure out how to make things better for quality of life no matter how big or small the initiative is. This trip was truly eye opening for me on just how much is out there, and I can't wait til my next excursion around the world.
About The Author
B.Easy is the co-host of Talkin' Suplexes. He's a self-professed geek loving movies, wrestling, comic books, and using his imagination. Goal in life is become to a world traveler and get paid to hop on lear jets. Follow him on Instagram @iam_beasy, Follow Talkin' Suplexes @talkinsuplexespod