I got a lot of hassle after telling my friends that I wanted to move out of my parents’ place in central Paris. None of them, even the most rational, could fathom why I wanted to rent a cheap, spacious apartment in the suburbs over an expensive, poky shit hole in the middle of the city.
Perhaps I just don’t look for the same things in life as them. I’m aware that regularly stepping in dog crap and having to avoid fawning honeymooners is chic and sophisticated and all that other stuff that people write about Paris on novelty dish towels. But there are things I’d rather do than worry about not being cosmopolitan enough, like making sure I can afford some kind of sustenance after handing my landlord Bermuda’s national debt in rent, every single month.
Yes, there are some redeeming factors about the city; there’s slightly more to do than in the suburbs and I love those Haussmannian buildings along the Rue de Rivoli. But they’re buildings—who gives a fuck? I have Street View on my phone.
PARISIAN BOYS When I was younger they were called “chachas.” Nowadays, they’re called “bobos” (which stands for bourgeois bohème). But the name-change really doesn’t matter; They’re still the same jerks who’ll actively bum out an entire house party by putting down a stranger’s wardrobe choices, despite the fact they all look like cognizant uncircumcised penises, their heads swaddled in layers of garish printed scarves.
If you’re a tourist, here’s the most effective way of identifying a bobo: They are that unique breed of dickhead who, when you ask for directions, will smirk at you like you’ve just confused APC for YMC—or some equally embarrassing oversight—before ignoring you completely.
PARISIAN GIRLS I wanted to avoid making generalizations about the city’s fairer sex, but the problem is that pretty much all of them—that they’re arrogant, sulky, boring, and hot—are true. Seriously, it’s like Kristen Stewart, standing in a Hall of Mirrors, lecturing you about her beauty regime.
CARS Enjoy consciously risking your life every time you cross a road? Disappointed at the lack of peril involved in three-minute car journeys? Move to Paris! Drivers here don’t sweat the small stuff (traffic laws, the lives of pedestrians) whenever there’s a brief chance to shift into second gear. The rest of the time, however, be prepared to waste your entire day sat in traffic.