8 People You Will Meet When You Live In Paris

1. The Perpetual Student.

You’re not sure what they’re studying, and you’ve learned to stop asking, because there is never a satisfying answer. But it’s France, and university is more or less free, so it’s no surprise that over the course of a few years, the only updates you’ll really get are a few Facebook statuses about “My new stage!” or “Just got accepted to a new Master 1!” And generally speaking, they have two functions: “Working on my thesis, I cannot talk or go outside or be human,” and “On vacation,” which reminds you of the fact that you can be well into your 20s and still have summer vacation — which makes you kind of sad that you’re not a perpetual student.

2. The One With The Great Apartment.

Going over to their house is an exercise in Not Wanting To Seem Like An Easily Impressed Poor Person, and it’s really, really hard sometimes. It’s just… such a nice apartment! And so well-located! And your mind can’t stop asking itself how in the world they acquired such an apartment at their age, and with their job. You don’t even want to ask “Hey, what does a 70 square meter apartment with a totally refurbished American kitchen at Saint Paul run you every month?” because “I’m a secret internet millionaire” and “My grandparents own this place, and I just live here because life isn’t fair” are both equally dissatisfying answers.

3. The Crazy Ex-Pat.

Oh, Crazy Ex-Pat. Aren’t they just the best? Their life is a blur of immigration papers and last-minute visas and that one nine-month period they spent living in Tangier (where you suspect they dealt drugs and taught English on the side, but you’re not here to judge). And now they’re settled in Paris, and their life consists of writing in a Moleskin, drinking coffees and wine, and occasionally speaking with a distant nostalgia about their family back home in Michigan or wherever. (Of course, you can’t imagine them actually living in a mid-sized American city, but you imagine that it happened at some point before you met them.) They work jobs, and kind of float around, and live at the fickle mercy of the Préfecture.

4. The Business(wo)man.

They went to a good business school (don’t worry, they’ll tell you which one, especially if it was HEC), or a top engineering school (they’ll be less likely to tell you which one), and now they have a Real Job™ over in La Defense, or somewhere in the close suburbs. And while everyone else is going to that blind test on Tuesday night or the expo that is for some reason only open at 2 in the morning on a Thursday, they have to get up for work every day, not linger around cafés smoking Phillip Morrises, and generally remind everyone that capitalism is alive and well in The Hexagon.

5. The Franglish Hipster.

They live up by Montmartre, or in the 10th (although if they’re to one extreme or the other of the financial spectrum, they probably live in the Marais or the 19th). They likely went to Sciences Po, studying something to do with media or communication, and now they have a lot of thoughts about social media, New York, and brunch. They’re French, but every other word out of their mouth is English, especially when it comes to talking about work, and either they or one of their closest personal friends is a DJ. Also, they’re thinking of starting a blog and/or making videos on YouTube, but they’re not sure how to market it right now.

6. The Tourist.

They’re here for a study abroad and not really interested in learning French, getting into the culture, or staying for a very long period of time. They have a blog called something like ~*~My Macaron Life~*~, where they take pictures of La Durée and Père Lachaise, and every weekend is spent visiting a different major European city so they can take pictures of themselves in front of statues.

7. The Artist (Whose Work Is Not Ready Yet).

Everyone who lives in Paris for more than five minutes meets the #ElusiveArtist, who is always “in the middle of a project” or “between projects,” but never actually in possession of a completed work. They are constantly putting the finishing touches on their novel, or thinking about the paintings they might want to include for their as-yet-undetermined showcase in a friend’s gallery. They are always good for afternoon coffees and walks around the Jardin des Plantes, late Tuesday nights drinking wine on a terrace, and talks about generalized anxiety. They are some of the most creative and thoughtful people you know, and you’ll often be left wanting to tie them up in a basement to force them to finish at least one work.

8. The One Who Never Leaves Paris.

You’re not sure if they’ve ever left the city, to be honest. If they’re not having the duck confit at their favorite corner restaurant or ordering their morning coffee at the exact same bar while they read the news, you’re pretty sure they’ll cease to exist. They’ve told you on multiple occasions that they “don’t need to leave Paris, because everything you need is here,” and sometimes — when you witness their zen state of happiness over their routine — you wonder if they just might be right. TC mark

image – clickflash

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

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