I have one dating rule: if you don’t kiss by the second date, you’re just friends.
Problem is, this will not be applicable in Paris because the French have no dating rules. And not “no rules” in that oh come on, everyone knows you can’t call him way. We’re talking “no rules” in that no one in Paris dates; therefore, no one knows how to date. It’s true—there is no word for “dating” in French. They don’t even employ the English word with an accent like they do for “business” or “cool.”
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I’m feeling a bit disappointed at the moment. OKCupid guy just canceled. Normally, I’d shrug this kind of thing off; it happened all the time to me in New York. But a few days ago I realized how great it would be to have a French boyfriend. (I actually have this reverse fantasy of being in a relationship with one and getting into fights, him yelling in French and me in English. Followed by post-argument sex, bien sûr.) That night I had met up with a girlfriend from college who has been living here with a Parisian boy for the past few years. Her French is now impeccable. Becoming fluent is one of my top goals for the year, and hearing her talk made me face the unfortunate reality that my French is good, but, um, not that good.
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These government-sponsored condom ads have been causing a bang in Paris (heh, heh). Translation of the dog-themed slogans: “Man’s best friend.” And because France is so egalitarian: “Woman’s best friend” too. OK, boy, now lie down! Keep reading »
My first week in Paris is coming to a close, and, generally, I’m feeling super positive about things. My apartment could not be more perfect. It’s incredible teeny, but has two windows overlooking the Seine (eeee!), and at night the tourist boats pass by, illuminating the entire room for a few seconds with their lights. (See some pics here!) I spent the first two days alone, running all over town to take care of paperwork and get things for the house. I had been feeling pretty lonely up until last night when I went out with a mutual friend, whom I’d never met before, to have Vietnamese food and see some French pop bands at a grungy-yet-hip underground club in Belleville. There were many, many cute boys there who definitely have improved style since the last time I was here four years ago. Now, instead of wide-leg jeans and ribbed turtlenecks, they’re sporting leather jackets, thick-rimmed glasses, and the type of sweaters you know you’d steal if you were dating. It goes without saying that I will be frequenting this place a lot. Keep reading »
Most summer vacations for teenage girls involve getting a job at the local Dairy Queen or tempting skin cancer at the beach. But in France, hundreds of girls disappear each summer when they are sent abroad and forced into marriages with men they’ve never met. Most of the victims are Muslim and of Asian, African, or Middle Eastern descent, so the government has generally considered it a cultural or religious issue. But since other European countries like England have governmental units that track down women who are forced into marriages in their countries of origin, we’re happy that France is just starting to keep up with the times. The French school system is working to set up an alert system for these girls who never return to school in the fall and last year they published a guide to help officials suss out forced marriages. The government is even making efforts to protect girls who want to annul their marriages. [Reuters] Keep reading »
I can’t believe I leave for Paris tomorrow. I haven’t slept in two nights. I’m so wired. The past week has been a complete whirlwind. Between packing, last-minute doctor appointments, and taking care of arrival details, I’ve also been organizing tons of goodbyes. I’ve lived in New York City for most of my life (I was born here and grew up in Manhattan), so I didn’t think I’d feel sentimental about leaving this city that feels so normal. And normalness, as you may know, is my pet peeve these days. But all of a sudden, I do feel a pang of sadness, not so much for my surroundings, but for the people in them. My whole family is here, and we’re very close. My biggest fear is that I’ll come back from Paris a year later to find everyone’s changed. Who knows—by the time I return, Big Sister could have a baby, or my parents could suddenly be old. Keep reading »
Nothing spells quarter-life crisis more than turning your world upside down to move to France without much thought as to how it will affect your career, happiness, relationships, or bank account.
I am about to turn 24 in a few days. And a few days after that, I’m packing up my life into two suitcases (somehow) and moving to Paris for a year. While I don’t quite fit into the mid-twenties bracket when the quarter-life crisis traditionally sets in, I knew about six months ago that it was beginning to happen.
Two years out of college, the regularity of my life had become puzzling. On the one hand, I realized how I was settling in with the idea of being a “grown-up.” On the other, the lack of transitions was starting to get to me. It’s ironic how you spend the first 22 years (if not more) of your life in transition with markers of beginnings and ends. Change, to me, was a comforting constant.
During this two-year period, I began dreaming of Paris. I’d spent my junior year abroad there. It wasn’t the most fantastic year of my life, and I even left the city thinking I’d never be able to live there again, but, yeah, I changed. A lot. Keep reading »
Forget the crotch shot … what’s up with those rad shoes? [Ladiesroom.fr] Keep reading »
Jack, why are you lying on the sidewalk? I understand that you are on vacation in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France, and I am sure you are feeling very relaxed, indeed, and I hear that the mechanics were working on your boat, but a public nap? Well, you are Jack Nicholson. So, I guess that means you can do whatever you want. [Splash News, 8/11/09] Keep reading »
Ahh, oui, gay Pareeee, citeee of l’amour where we Parisiens smoke les cigarettes and drink ze wine all day is, how you say? Bohémien?
Maybe not anymore. France, the country once known for indulgence, freedom, and luxury has been doing some legal housecleaning in the past few years that may change its image permanently. What, I cannot smoke here? Non! Picnic with my wine? Non!
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