What It’s Like to Live In…Paris, France
XxMeleaxX, your life sounds so glamorous! Or should we say, tres chic! (Really, should we? We're not entirely sure what that means.)—Sparkitors
Bonjour! As you may have noticed from the title, I currently live in Paris, France. Yes, I am officially French, but it's my first time living in France (we moved here because of my parents' jobs). Now let's get started!
Language: First, let me clear one thing up: when the French speak English, we don't sound like this: “Ah ma Cherie you are ze most beautiful thing in ze world!” Though we do have accents, most French people speak English fairly well, as there are mandatory English classes in most French schools.
School: I go to a private school where we use the American system of grading. School is really tough in France: we have to pass a lot of difficult exams in order to advance to the next grade, and if they catch you cheating on a test, you can’t take ANY exams at all for the next three years.
Food: In France, there are only two major fast food places: McDonalds and Quick. Burger King, Wendy’s, and Domino's don't exist. But most of the time you don’t need fast food anyway, as the restaurants in France are pretty great. One downer is that supermarkets don’t stock American products—no Oreos for me.
Malls: One word: HUGE. The mall I frequently go to is humongous. There is one entire wing devoted to restaurants! There are two Sephoras, two McDonalds, two Claire’s, and the Virgin store (it’s kind of like Barnes and Noble) goes on for 3 floors!
Movies: There are cinemas right and left in Paris; on the Champs-Elysée, there are 5 movie theaters, and they all play different movies. Most theaters play their films in French until around 7 PM, after which they switch to the English-language versions. But be warned: if you're seeing a movie made by the French/Danish/Russians, it'll probably be pretty serious, and it may even deal with suicide, war, drugs, etc.
Champs-Elysée: When most people think of Paris, they think of shopping or the Champs-Elysée—and they have good reason to. The Champs-Elysée is a pretty amazing place; there are even stores there that sell shoes more expensive than brand-new cars. But the best part of the Champs-Elysee is the transformation it undergoes at Christmas: it's turned into a giant holiday market, complete with a huge Ferris wheel that's decorated as a snowflake. If you'd like to see the most beautiful view ever, definitely take a ride.
Have you ever been to Paris? Would you like to go?
Related post: What It's Like to Live In...Nairobi, Kenya