Tourist, regular visitor or Parisian expat, these are some of the things that have gone through my mind over the years going through the stages.
Hey it’s okay….
1. To ask for directions, then not understand the answer but nod along anyway.
2. To proudly execute your perfectly mastered phrase : “ça coûte combien..?” only to completely blank out when given the answer.
3. To question the person who invented French numbers above 70 – seriously what’s with the sudden switch to sixty-ten..? We were doing so well there..
4. That hearing the number 99 gives you a mathematical headache. Quatre-vingt-dix-neuf, 4 by 20 plus 10 plus 9..?? WHY?
5. That the only photos you have of yourself / yourselves on your camera roll are selfies..
6. …. or, poorly composed / weirdly cropped photos taken by strangers that you didn’t have the heart to ask to be retaken – “oh yeah that’s great, thanks!” (NOT)
7. To get annoyed with those tourists and their selfie sticks (but secretly envy them at the same time for being able to take photos without their outstretched arm in the foreground)
8. To actually be offended by the smell of urine in the metro and RER stations.
9. To get swept up by the romance of the City of Lights, forget about said smell then be rudely shocked again when you unexpectedly take in a waft.
10. To accidentally sleep in and miss something on the “must do” list – go away FOMO.
11. To have enough of French food day in day out and just crave something (preferably greasy) from home.
12. To rock up at a museum, see the queue and think to yourself “yeah nah..”
13. To set off to do the Louvre with such profound appreciation, studying each painting intently – only to be struck down by museum fatigue an hour later (okay, next.. where’s the Mona Lisa?)
14. To wonder bafflingly, how on earth Parisian women appear so effortlessly chic, the way their hair just falls to a side like that..
15. To feel pretty chuffed when a tourist asks you for directions..! (YAY I look like a local..!)
16. To give in and just embrace being a tourist in Paris. It’s more fun that way anyway, now who’s up for that selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower..? 😉