I have been to Paris before, but this is the first time I’ve had several days to explore and experience its city and its people. Paris is an extremely large city, larger than most other major European cities, so I’m sure my observations won’t apply to the entire city or every region. I spent most of my time around the central core, from the financial district in the West to Charles De Gualle in the East.
As always, let’s cover the women first. It’s probably no surprise to hear me say that French women are clearly the best-looking women in Western Europe. However, A) that’s not saying much; B) remember that I’m excluding both Scandinavia and Eastern Europe when I say “Western Europe”; C) they aren’t much better-looking than other countries, just somewhat so.
All that being said, yes, there are definitely hot women here, which is very unlike London and Berlin. None of the hot women in Paris (that I’ve seen anyway) are super-hot and most women aren’t hot or cute, just like any other city. However, this could be my American Societal programming kicking in without me realizing it. French people tend to have noses that look odd to American eyes and that extends to the cute and hot women here. Perhaps if you’re a non-American you may find them more attractive than I do.
French women also have the best bodies in Western Europe and here they excel far beyond their British and German counterparts. Women in France are much more likely to have bigger boobs and bigger, rounder asses than any other Western European nation by far. It’s a very nice change after having spent so much time in London and Berlin lately.
Don’t get me wrong; women’s curviness here is nothing like South America, not even close. It’s more on par with the USA where at least you can find curvy women as compared to Germany (where there are virtually none because they’re too skinny) or London (where they tend to be overweight and/or have a massive mix of body types).
Sadly, I have found that many of the negative stereotypes of French people tend to be true. I’ll cover a few of them I’ve experienced both on this trip and prior trips I’ve taken to France.
First off is the body odor. Holy shit. Yes, the stereotype that French people don’t shower as often is true, or at least must be, since many times I’ve been smacked in the face with really horrible guy body odor. I don’t mean the kind where you say “Hm, that guy needs cologne.” Oh no, I’m talking about being bowled over with the worst BO you’ve ever smelt in your life.
I’ve noticed this shitty BO always comes from men, never from women. I guess it’s just part of the culture here. The men here also tend to be shorter on average than men in Germany (who are tall), men in England (who come in all shapes and sizes) and men in Italy (who are short and broad, but not quite this short).
Xenophobia. I have found the stereotype that French people are intolerant of foreigners (including other Europeans) at least partially true. On one of my trips here I took my Mom. She received many dirty looks from French people when it was clear she couldn’t speak the language. Uber drivers here are very quiet when they realize you’re an American, which is the opposite of Uber drivers in London and Berlin who are very talkative and friendly almost across the board.
Smoking. More people smoke cigarettes on the streets of Paris than any other city I’ve ever visited in my entire life outside of China. It really is something. You’d better get used to cigarette smoke if you spend any extended time in Paris. Normally I don’t care but this time it was troublesome since Pink Firefly, who was with me on this trip, is allergic to cigarette smoke (it actually makes her sick; it causes some interesting scenarios when we go to Vegas), so it was hard for her.
Having come from cigarette-hating America she had never experienced this kind of thing before, people smoking cigarettes out in the open on the streets en mass. So, I had to explain to her that left-wing France doesn’t have the hyper-negative stigma attached to cigarettes that the left-wing does in the USA.
Side note: I’ve never smoked and I hate cigarettes with a passion, but I’m a libertarian so I’m against cigarettes being illegal. (See? I can separate my personal opinions from what I would impose on society. It’s called rationality.) I would prefer that everything was legal (all drugs, alcohol, etc) and that the free market determine no-smoking zones for non-smokers like me. But I digress.
Surprisingly, Parisians are much more “spacey” than most other big city-dwellers. I discussed this when I talked about New Zealand. People in Paris, despite living in one of the largest and busiest cities on the planet often walk around like they’re in dream state, suddenly stopping without checking behind them, or slowly turning around while in the middle of dense crowd, or just standing there staring off into space instead of moving aside. Numerous times I almost crashed into French people acting like they were alone out in an open field rather than in a crowded, fast moving city. Very weird.
People like this always make me miss Asia. Those city dwellers are fast and focused and don’t fuck around. Much better in my view.
French people are much more socially aggressive, which I sort of like. This would be a contrast to people like the Canadians who are more socially passive. French people have no problem whatsoever walking right up to you at the airport and (politely) telling you to move your ass two seats over so they can sit closer to the USB port so they can charge their phone. A random woman on the plane pretty much handed me her huge bag and expected me to put it under the seat in front of me because she was sitting in an exit row. A guy standing behind Pink Firefly in a line told her that she needed to close her purse and that it was dangerous for her to have it open. And so on. Most people in most countries don’t have these kinds of social balls, but the French certainly do.
That purse thing leads into the issue of crime in Paris. The petty crime rate here is pretty bad. Once we were settled PF left her purse in the hotel room when we went out because of the pickpockets here, something she didn’t have to really worry too much about in other countries. Western collapse hits all countries differently, and in Paris, one of its symptoms is the massively growing crime rate.
The city of Paris is endlessly exciting and always a joy to visit (though I would never live here). It combines the cool factor of New York with the rich and grand history of London. I could spend perhaps two weeks here just going through all the major historical sites, love every minute of it and still not get to everything. This is on top of other areas within easy driving distance that I could experience (but haven’t yet) like the Palace of Versailles.
The Eiffel Tower really is a wonder to behold and no pictures or movies do it justice if you’ve never seen it in real life. When you walk under it, you are overwhelmed by the sheer size of the thing, as well as the fact that they built the damn thing in the 1800s. I’ve been up into the tower twice now and it’s still no less exciting. In typical, slow, disorganized, European fashion, you’ll wait almost three hours in various lines in order to actually get inside the damn thing, but hey, it’s Europe; you’ve got to expect that shit here. And, in the case of the Eiffel Tower, it’s worth it. Amazing to think it was built purely as a temporary structure they were going to tear down after the World’s Fair!
This time I stayed in the financial district, the one area of town with modern skyscrapers, but spent most of our time down in the core where the buildings are older and much more interesting. Paris is a unique mix of high-tech modern, amazing historical, typical old-school European, and pure shit. It probably has more flavor than any other Western city in the world.
I’ve always wondered who in European cities choose their odd, uniformed color schemes. Just about every building in Paris is beige with a grey roof. Here’s what I mean:
Isn’t that funny? (It’s just like Berlin where pretty much all the buildings have red roofs.)
Who decided that all buildings and roofs in this city need to be that color? Isn’t that weird? If you answer it’s because of the coloration of the construction materials, that doesn’t make any sense because just a two- hour flight away and all the buildings are another color.
The uniformity of color in European buildings is so strange to me and always has been. Collectivism at its finest I guess.
That brings us to the driving here. The French aren’t the insane, angry, suicidal maniacs that the Italians are. However, the Parisians have, for some strange reason, built these odd circle-streets that are five or six lanes wide where multiple streets converge. Whenever someone drives into one of these insane circles, get ready for some serious screaming, yelling, bitching and engaging in near-suicidal driving tactics in order to get through multiple unmarked lanes of traffic filled with other drivers who don’t want to let you through.
It’s hilarious. PF was terrified and I was laughing. Who the fuck thought of this system? Humorously inefficient and dumb. Reminds me of LAX. (Entertaining though, constantly watching your Uber/taxi driver scream and get screamed at by other drivers as they attempt to navigate this shit.)
In conclusion, Paris is a very interesting and entertaining city and one of those places I could spend several weeks exploring. Alas, I have other cities I need to visit, and this marks the end of this particular trip back to Europe. Next time I travel internationally in a few months it will be to Paraguay to buy my farm and New Zealand to find my new house. I’ll also hit Russia and Eastern Europe in 2020 and I’ll review it all here then.