It’s hard to practice your french!
Even being quite immersed in the culture and people, it is challenging to attempt a conversation in french. Often spotted by my accent, those I encounter in shops and restaurants will quickly switch to whatever English they know to help me understand what they’re asking. While this is incredibly kind of them, it makes it more difficult to practice the french I am learning here.
There are dogs everywhere!
Big, small, and all very well groomed. You see them on the street, the metro, and even padding along in some grocery stores and cafes! But…. you can’t pet ANY OF THEM! I know, I know, this seems like such a small thing, but as an animal lover coming from a country in which almost any dog may be pet if you ask it’s owner, this is a big blow. The French are quite personal, and this extends to their pets. Smiling at someone else’s dog will exude some odd looks from the owners, and if you stare long enough they may even cross the street! I will admit, I’ve come across exactly two friendly dog people, who were willing enough to let me give their dog a quick pat before rushing along.
Everything is gray.
Now this may be the result of my entry into Paris being mid-winter, but everything is so gray! It seems as though almost all the trees and grass have been gathered up and placed neatly in some of the beautiful attractions across Paris like the stunning Jardin des Tuileries. While the initial shock of the graying landscape was deep, I’ve come to adore it in the past few weeks, and it truly makes me appreciate the green of the gardens a whole lot more.
The produce is amazing.
I didn’t understand until I experienced first hand the true depth of just how delicious and cheap produce is here. As someone who has always done my best to eat organic and invest in good food, coming to Paris is such a relief. GMO foods are illegal to produce in Paris, so all vegetables and fruits are what would be labeled organic in the US. Since this all natural mindset is the norm in France, there is no drastic up charge in price for some truly natural and very yummy produce!
100 of everything.
Because of the walking culture in Paris, you may feel like you’re seeing double… or triple. You can rely on a pharmacy and cafe on just about every corner, peppered in between with small grocery stores, restaurants, and cleverly hidden apartments. While it does make picking a landmark quite difficult, it is without a doubt the height of convenience. If you’re hungry, thirsty, or sick, you know whatever you need is right around the corner.