Top 40 Clues I'm (nearly) Parisian

By: Joy Anna Becvarik

For almost ten years, France has been my home. A far cry from the calm of sunny New Mexico, Paris is a bustling capital filled with lots to learn and discover, especially for an expat. From language to culture, from cuisine to mannerisms, I’ve been soaking it up. While I’m still a granola-crunching, nature-loving Santa Fean at the core, I can’t help letting the city rub off on me. I’m well on my way to becoming Parisian because,

1. I no longer ask for a menu on a café terrace, but walk straight to a table, sit down and order a drink.

2. I order a “noisette” instead of a café au lait after a meal.

3. I wait patiently in line for a baguette, but not for the next metro. 

4. I succeed in getting out of a crowded metro by using a deep, guttural “parDON”.

5. I think twice about wearing my yoga pants and running shoes to the bakery on Saturday mornings.

6. I buy the Figaro on Wednesdays for the “supplément culture”.

7. I’ve sipped a glass of wine and nibbled tapas at L’Avant-Comptoir.

8. I know who Joel Robuchon, Thierry Marx, and Yves Camdeborde are.

9. I shop for cooking supplies on rue Montmartre.

10. I go to Jean-Paul Hévin for chocolate and to Pierre Hermé for macarons.

11. I’ve had lunch at Café Constant, on a weekday. 

12. I’m no longer surprised when cars don’t stop for me at the crosswalk. 

13. I go straight to the back of the bus to get on with the baby stroller.

14. I’ve spent an hour in a Zzz on the banks of the Seine.

15. I’ve visited the Louvre on a Friday night.

16. I often find myself walking on the left side of the sidewalk.

17. I flop around the swimming pool with my son and husband at “bébés nageurs”.

18. I no longer try to look Parisian by wearing a scarf, and ballerinas, and a tote all at once, but choose one. 

19. My wardrobe is mostly black.

20. I’ve come to terms with the fact that brunch in Paris means eggs, and pastries, and country bread, and fruit, and yogurt, and cheese, and meats, and salad, and coffee, and juice, and pancakes for dessert. 

21. I know BHV, the gardens behind Notre-Dame and Les Berges de Seine all have free public restrooms.

22. I now own an umbrella, high-cut leather boots, a wool scarf, a warm hat, and more than one long winter coat.

23. I start wearing scarves as soon as summer vacation ends.

24. I start planning our next vacation as soon as we get back from the last, if not before.

25. I let my hair grow out.

26. I wait to get my hair trimmed at “la rentrée” in September.

27. I don’t go out with wet hair.

28. I own a bright orange shopping caddie, and use it at the market.

29. I no longer apologize profusely when I don’t buy something at a store or if I have to cancel an appointment.

30. I know how to use the automatic machines to buy stamps at the post office.

31. I’m no longer afraid to walk into a parapharmacy and will even trek through town to Citypharma on rue du Four for moisturizer and shampoo.

32. I say Roissy instead of Charles de Gaulle Airport.

33. I know what Rungis is.

34. I’ve bought vegetables from Joel Thiebault. 

35. I’ve been through the interview process to get a library card at the BNF. 

36. I sucked it up and paid the nearly 2,000 euros to get a French driver’s license.

37. I’ve stopped trying to do errands on Mondays.

38. Tourists ask me for directions.

39. I no longer think the locks on the Pont des Arts are cool.

40. I’ve hiked to the top of Galleries Lafayette just to admire the view.

About the author

Expat Blog ListingJoy Anna Becvarik is an American expat living in France. Blog description: The Tomato Knife is a blog about life and travel in Paris, France. I write about food, culture, and living a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.
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Contest Comments » There are 5 comments

Lem wrote 10 years ago:

Very good list ! Item 14 saved me from being 100 % PariZzzian. Thanks ! S.

Karen wrote 10 years ago:

This is wonderful, Joy. My favorites are numbers 1 and 18. Makes me want to hop a plane and meet you for any of the delicious French culinary experiences you mentioned here.

Lindsay wrote 10 years ago:

That's quite a list. You certainly have that (nearly) Parisian lifestyle down! Thanks for sharing. Makes me want to visit!

Kira wrote 10 years ago:

All of this is very true, and especially number 27. That was one of the first lessons I learned in France. Thanks!

Carol wrote 10 years ago:

Fantastic List! You have captured the true expat Parisian. Bravo!!!!

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