Now I want to talk about something that happened today. This is my biggest pet peeve of living in Paris, or near Paris. The people who live here do not know how to move out of the way. You stay to the right and I stay to the left. Simple right? No.
It’s not so bad when I am alone, I can just weave my way around crazy people who are like freight trains and act like no one is in their path. However, when I have the two kids in a stroller it is very hard to move the stroller out of the way. The looks of disappointment that I get on the street, as though I should be the one moving are so surprising to me. I have two kids who are probably 25lbs each in one stroller. It is not easy to move this thing.
Now, I don’t want to make all people seem like buttholes. Some move happily. And I have to think that some are not paying attention because most people walk with their head down or with headphones. But, This has happened multiple times over the period I have been here. It is a little crazy. I do like the fast paced walking in the city, but not moving for a woman and a stroller is inconsiderate.
Also, I have some advice on how to not look like a complete tourist when you come to Paris. When I arrived here I was in awe. I looked up and around everywhere I went, and not paying attention to where I was going. I was talking with two friends about how we each stepped in dog crap at least once when we arrived. It is because you are just not paying attention. This is how people get their stuff stolen and look like a tourist. So, my advice is to look down. It will help with the poop thing. (Paris is not dirty BTW) rich people are just lazy.
Do not smile at anyone. They will hit on you if you are the opposite sex and they think you are attractive. (Or the same sex, if that is your thing.) It happened to me in a park my second week here. I was just trying to find an au pair picnic. When I casually passed a guy with a polite smile. Normal for the states but not in France. I hit on someone without knowing it.
The lesson is to keep your head down, but still pay attention because people walk like maniacs. Look out for dog poop, even in the fanciest neighborhoods. Do not smile at French people, unless you think they are cute. And I have to admit a lot of them are.
Also, don’t let this post deter you from visiting. Paris is basically the New York of Europe. People work a ton and want to get home to their families. They think it’s weird for a stranger to talk to them because it’s a huge metropolis. A lot of the reason they may be misunderstood is because their sense of humor is VERY sarcastic. So, of course I like most of them, because I have been told I am a smart ass.