Hi all –
I started writing this last week, but didn’t get to finish it… These are just some thoughts I have on my ‘first’ impressions I got about Paris and Parisians since I got here (it’s my 3rd week now). Funny how though I have been here multiple times before, I had never really noticed some of these things until now. Perhaps because my previous visits were shorter, so mentally, I wasn’t really trying to be observant.
Anyhow…. here they are….
- Parisian women do not perspire – I have noticed that Parisian women like to dress in something like – skinny jeans / or nice black pants, a top of some kind, a scarf, and some kind of a jacket (I am calling it the ‘Parisians’ smart jackets’ 🙂 ). So the first week I was here, the weather was a bit chilly, but still the sun was out (except for one day when it was raining), but the past couple of days of last week, it was hot. And when you walk so much…. it’s just natural that you’d perspire. They don’t. These women – they walk around with their scarfs and jackets – and I don’t think I’ve seen them perspire, at all. I stopped by a cafe last week after walking back from my class – and it was especially hot on that day on Friday (it was in the 90s), and I was walking just regular pace, and I was wearing a nice summer top (no jacket) … then I went into this cafe, and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror – I looked like I had just gotten out of a spinning class. My face was drenched in sweats. And – my hair – which I spent about 30 minutes on that morning, all wet and sad. Totally not chic!! Then I saw these women in front of me in the line, or the ones who came in after me – and they looked fucking flawless. Like they just came in from the shop next door … and again, in their scarfs and jackets. I mean – how could it be? Again – with so much walking, I’d think that they’d perspire. It’s just normal. It’s just human. But – they don’t. So far, they’ve always look put together. Very chic. Very nice. Very annoying! Oh alright, they look great, and I’m just jelly! 🙂
- I can’t do French breakfast … the French word for lunch is “déjeuner”. Breakfast is “petit-déjeuner” or literally translated to ‘small lunch’. But what I didn’t realize is that French’s breakfast really really is small. French breakfast – in general – consists of coffee and a toast with butter or some jam (sometimes they call it ‘tartine’). That breakfast just won’t do for this girl who over 20 years have been on an American diet. Actually – let me clarify – it is not just my American diet. The French breakfast would have never passed my Indonesian diet either. I mean, I did try doing the French breakfast – for a week, but I got so hungry by 10:30am every morning, I couldn’t concentrate in class. And mind you – I was already having a hard time understanding anyone (and myself) in the class to begin with, adding the hunger factor – did not help at all. And – the thing is, I don’t do well when I’m hungry. It’s even worse than when I don’t get coffee in the morning. Me + no coffee in the morning = lethal. Me + hungry – is WMD! I get all bitchy (oh OK, bitchy-er). Not good. Not pretty! So – this past weekend, I went to the grocery store, and got me some eggs and some ham and sausages, and I’d been making my own breakfast this week. Me … cooking?! I know right?! I mean, that statement in itself is comical. I think this kitchen’s gotten more actions the past few days than my kitchen in San Jose in the 5.5 years I’ve lived there!
- People are smoking….. everywhere! It’s one of my least favorite things so far. I guess I just take it for granted. I mean, I’ve got some friends who smoke. But in the US, especially in California, it’s quite rare to find people who smoke. Or even when they do – I mean, they all know they have to go to their designated places where they could smoke while people looking at them disapprovingly 🙂 Here, however…. a lot of people smoke. All the time. Anywhere. At the restaurants, at the cafes, and my least favorite is the people who just smoke on the streets as they’re walking. I could never get used to that! A lot of people smoke too in Indonesia. A lot. Everywhere too. But perhaps since I am Indonesian, and I feel somewhat entitled to telling people what not to do (at least what they can or cannot do around me 🙂 ) But here in Paris – you know, I’m technically a guest … so I am supposed to be polite while silently cussing them as they pass me.
- There are a lot of pretty men here in Paris – now I realize that it’s quite a politically incorrect thing to say, and if I were a man – I’d be called a dawg. I mean, this is not the first time I’ve been to Paris, not sure why I never really noticed it until now. But yeah – there are some really pretty men here. I don’t usually go for ‘pretty’ man (I like them smart and funny … and hopefully also nice to look at 🙂 ), but some of them really are pretty. Well … I’m just admiring god’s or the universe’s creations (or rather – these men’s parents’ creations).
Anyhow… those are some of my first impressions of Paris and Parisians…. I’ll keep sharing them with you as I think of more things!
As usual, thanks for stopping by!
A bientôt! See you soon!