It’s been a pretty swell year, I can’t lie. But I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t have any setbacks or problems. I mean, I can’t have all the fun all the time. So the following is a short list of complaints I have about living in Paris. This is probably the 0.1% of my time that I don’t enjoy. I may have made the blog title sound nicer than the it really is with the word observations, although I guess that is what they technically are. So here goes:
1) Paris might be this big beautiful city, but nobody ever tells you that it smells like pee. Like everywhere. I guess that’s the same in any big city, but if I could name one thing that I’ve really come to appreciate about living in the countryside; it’s the fresh air. If you call the smell of farms and cow poo fresh, that is.
2) The metro isn’t that fun. I know, right! I never thought I’d say that either. Another thing about living in the countryside is that going to cities like London would always be a novelty and using the metro was so much fun. Maybe it’s just me, but the thought of working in the city taking the tube to work like you see in movies seemed so cool. Sadly, the reality isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It’s almost always crowded, stuffy and stinky. And by crowded, I don’t mean that I’m forced to stand. I mean I’m forced to stand and have my face pushed against someone’s sweaty armpit, while someone else is standing on my foot and another person is leaning on my sweaty back. Yeah, we’re all sweaty in there. It’s a good way to get over personal space issues though, so I guess that’s a plus.
3) Is it me or is Paris more dangerous than other cities? Since coming here, I’ve found myself constantly being told by others to be careful, to not to be out at night alone or to not take credit cards out with me. Emphasis on the constantly. I mean I know people are looking out for me, but I do understand how to do life; I’ve survived this far at least and some of it has been living independently. Although it does take the biscuit that I did get pick pocketed a few months ago. That said, I don’t need to be told twice; nobody is going to be more careful than me at the moment. So why am I constantly being made paranoid about how to go about my daily life in this city? Maybe Paris really is more dangerous than most places. Maybe I’ve spent 21 years being too relaxed about the way I guard my possessions. Or maybe the people I know are just really, really caring. Let’s go wth the last one.
4) I have mixed feelings about this one. As someone with claustrophobia, I will do anything to avoid going in lifts, aeroplane, train or bus toilets. I voluntarily climbed 193 steps up Covent Garden tube station instead of taking the lift. That’s equal to a 15-story building. Seriously, I will do anything. Unfortunately for me, the hotel I work at has six floors. It’s no 15-story building, but it’s still enough to have to rely on a lift when going up and down regularly. Plus I don’t think management would like it if I told guests I’d meet them on the 6th floor when I’m supposed to accompany them to their room. Or worse still, if I told them we’d all be taking the stairs together. Naturally I did use the stairs a lot when I first arrived, but levels of laziness slowly overtook my phobia. I may be an active person, but climbing six floors of stairs three times in the space of half an hour just isn’t for me. I guess that’s one positive thing to come out of all this. Although if you ask me to go in a lift with you anywhere else, the answer will still be no.
5) T’inquiète (pas). The phrase I have come to hate. It means “don’t worry”. It is often used in conversation to mean “that’s okay” or “no problem”, rather than “don’t worry” itself. That’s all well and good, except for the fact that it has become be the most annoying phrase I’ve ever heard. Example:
“Oh I forgot to go to the shop today, I’ll just go tomorrow.”
Imagine the situation; I’m pretty relaxed about forgetting to go to the shop. It wasn’t that important. So I let it slide that I get told not to worry. It’s no biggie. Now imagine that same type of situation taking place almost everyday for a month. On the whole I’m a very relaxed person, so it starts to grate a little when I’m being constantly told to relax. I know they don’t literally mean it that way, but I’m only human and things get to me sometimes. Ironically, being told not to worry might be one of the few things that makes me annoyed. Also ironically, I think it’s the French who need to “inquiète” since they’re the ones always telling me to be careful (see number three).
Okay my 0.1% is at its limit or I may delve into a darker place. Tali out.