13 Things I Discovered About Paris

1. There is always excellent phone reception in Paris. Seriously. You can even get service in the underground subway system.

2. Public drinking is completely legal and acceptable.

3. The French are exactly like their stereotype – many of them can be seen walking down the street with a baguette in hand or tend to be chain smoking cigarettes in cafes while courting their lover.

4. Real French cafes play real French music. They cook your food after you’ve ordered it and their menus are in French. Tourist cafes play songs featuring Ke$ha and Pitbull. Their food is pre-made and prepackaged and they have menus in almost every language. Their prices tend to be just as expensive as in real cafes. Sometimes, they’re even more expensive.

5. Parisian cafes has a strong obsession with ham and eggs. Almost every food item can be served with having these ingredients somehow being thrown into the mix.

6. Beggars frequently sing, recite poetry or even play the accordion for money, not only in the underground tunnels of the Metro system, but also inside the trains themselves.

7. Public displays of affection are considered absolutely normal and can happen just about anywhere and at any time. (In airports, in the middle of the street, on stairs, in a park, in the Metro… morning, afternoon or night.) The French are a passionate people.

8. Speaking of passion… no matter what the French do, they always do it with passion. Whether a couple is fighting with each other in the middle of the street or a young man is shouting his poetic thoughts about social reform publicly in a crowded subway cart – there is a fire inside of their souls that can never be put out.

9. Most citizens pretend not to understand English, but in reality, they totally do.

10. The endless works of graffiti and vandalism that coat the streets of Paris have developed into an entirely different type of artform. There are some sections of the city that just explode with color as a result of the rebellious self-expression of urban street artists. And it’s beautiful.

11. Not all French people are rude. Some even stop to walk you all the way to your destination when you express that you’re lost and can’t find your way. Others may even lose themselves in conversation with you about photography in French cafes and end up giving you a significant discount on gelato because they think you’re pretty cool.

12. From the depths of the red light district where the original ‘Moulin Rouge’ originated, to the expansive palace and gardens of Chateau Versailles, Paris is incredibly rich with history, art and culture, everywhere you turn.

13. Whether it’s a group of preteens smoking cigarettes in secret or an elderly couple kissing in the Metro, whether it’s a middle-aged woman sharing a romantic dinner with an older man or a young couple carrying their newborn child to the park, the people of Paris live an incredibly independent lifestyle and have single-handedly proven that you really have the capacity to do whatever you want to do, no matter how young or old you are. TC mark

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