It’s probably a gross understatement to say that I’ve learned a few things since starting a life abroad just a year ago. It’s actually more like I’ve had to rewire my brain to understand a foreign language, automatically dodge dog poo and maneuver a granny cart full of spaghetti sauce up 4 flights of stairs.
It’s been a humbling experience to say the least. But I can confidently say that I now have a vast and varied repertoire of expat knowledge, far beyond anything you’ll ever find in a guide book. Such as:
1. Baguettes are better when they’re pas trop bien cuit.
3. The Louvre is hell on earth.
4. So is EuroDisney.
5. 95% of Parisian women will be skinnier, more beautiful and better smelling than you.
6. Pain au raisins with a Diet Coke is in fact a breakfast of champions.
7. If you desperately need something from the market or a specific store, you can count on it being closed.
8. Wearing heels here is next to impossible.
9. You will probably never be able to pronounce or conjugate s’asseoir.
10. But you’ll get good at conard, merde, and putain.
11. No one will care if your internet connection goes out for weeks at a time.
12. Talking on the phone will make you break into a sweat.
13. A chèvre is a goat. A cheval is a horse. Police ride chevals, not chèvres.
14. Actually, the plural of horse is cheveaux. Not to be confused with cheveux – the hair on your head.
15. A big glass of wine will make most embarrassment over your language skills disappear.
16. French ovens are crap. So is the metric system.
17. It is possible to eat a three course meal at lunch AND dinner.
18. But you may have the sharts afterward.
19. You’ll hate Paris sometimes.
20. But love it even more.