Thursday, February 2, 2012

Living in France, part 1

Since I'm in Paris until June and highly opinionated (or overly observant), I thought I'd do some weekly post sharing my thoughts and some interesting highlights. By which I mean, I'm going to complain about how weird/inconvenient living here is. So, here is this week's list:

  1.  Apparently falling in love is a valid excuse for missing a deadline, not doing a particular piece of work, or being late.
  2. Apparently, you cannot view any transactions on your bank account that happened more than 45 days ago. 
  3.  The library of the university I attend has a lower limit on the number of books you’re allowed to borrow, a shorter loan time, and a poorer selection than the Paris public libraries. Deduce what you will about the education system.
  4.  To learn what my grade is, I can't look it up online. I have to go to the campus of the university, find a particular hallway in a particular building, and look for my grade posted on the wall. Sometimes it's there. 
  5.  The book I bought for one of my classes yesterday – a novel- cost the same amount of money as a coffee. Another book I bought – a Moliere play – costs half as much as said coffee. Um. Priorities?
  6. Something is always broken. The elevator, the credit card machine, the metro, the RER, the ATM, the internet…..
  7.  I went out to lunch with a dozen French people today. They said that two bottles of wine would be “too much.” Wait…what?


  1. Your blog is very interesting, I love to read about expat in France. On the other end, I am a French girl, who's been living overseas for nearly 6 years (UK, Japan, Australia) after falling for an Australian man!
    I currently live in Sydney and I blog about healthy lifestyle based on the principles of the French paradox (no dieting, focussing instead on eating for pleasure but with moderation, making healthy food choices, and maintaining a level of fitness by being naturally active).

    I'd like to hear stories from Expats who have lost considerable amount of weight after moving to France, to share on my blog in order to encourage my readers to quit dieting and follow the French approach instead. If you have any expat friends in France fitting if this category please send them my way! Merci beaucoup.

    PS: I'm currently having a French goodies giveaway on my blog, open internationally. Feel free to enter if you like.

  2. Hi Mademoiselle!
    Sorry for taking a few days to reply to your comment - I'll say that Paris got distracting as my excuse.

    I hadn't really thought of myself as an "expat" before, not really; when I first got to France, a lot of it felt very familiar. I'd grown up in another European country, and some things are similar, and I also knew the language and the literature. But as I've lived here longer, I've definitely noticed differences, as the post above shows.

    As for losing weight while living in France, I think that happened: I certainly lost about 5 kilograms by eating delicious French pastries and then running after the metro/RER/tram and whatnot. I have to admit, taking public transportation to class and work int he mornings is not something I'm used to, and I think I have perfected the skill of running in heels in the process.

    Thanks for the link to your blog - will definitely check it out! And be sure to come back here, as I'm sure I'll be posting more of my thoughts on living in France!