Brutal honesty alert: These are 9 things I REALLY hate about Paris as a city! I moved to Paris 5 years ago and would have loved someone to be honest with me about the downsides of Paris so that I could set realistic expectations, so I am doing the same for you just in case it helps (or you’re already living here and it’s nice to hear from someone who just ‘gets it’). Paris is so wonderful, but also so very imperfect (aren’t we all?!).

VIDEO GUIDE to Things I Hate About Paris / Ce que je n’aime pas a Paris

1. A city of Micro-Aggressions 0:57

2. Shocking Customer Service 3:28

3. Smells/Dirty city, people treating Paris like a trash can 5:36

4. How intensely creepy the men can be 6:38

5. Being far from the sea 8:18

6. Fear of pickpockets 8:46

7. Hard water full of minerals (especially calcium) 9:09

8. The frequent food-shaming / fat-shaming 10:00

9. The sadness of the organised crime behind beggars, scams and people selling trinkets 10:50

As mentioned in the video:

▶ Video on the things we LOVE about France:

▶ The Purple Palace video on Creepy Men in France:

Did these things that I hate about living in Paris surprise you? Is there anything missing that you expected to be on the list? Are you planning to move to Paris sometime soon? Let me know down below!

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If you don’t know already, I am an expat in Paris and have been living in Paris as a foreigner since 2013, when I moved here to pursue my Masters degree. I’ve stuck around for long enough to see the good, the bad and the ugly!

Paris can be an incredible place – the architecture, the history, culture, food, sunny evenings down by the riverside…and I have soaked it all in over the past 5 years.

But I wanted to talk frankly and openly with you guys about this city’s imperfections and tell you: IT IS OKAY NOT TO LIKE PARIS! I can definitely see how it’s not for everyone. Hell, many French people HATE Paris (at least that’s what they’ve told me)! Most expats here have a love-hate relationship with the city that makes you want to update your relationship status to “it’s complicated.”

#lifeinparis #movetoparis #whyihateparis

And in all honesty, there are many things that I dislike about Paris. I could probably do a whole other video on it! But I also believe that you can be happy anywhere as long as you choose to be (plus the pros far outweigh the cons).

I hope this video helps, especially if you are planning on doing a study Abroad in Paris or looking for things to know before moving to Paris or simply visiting Paris. Remember that these are just the worst things about Paris.. keep in mind the big picture 🙂

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Salut YouTube and welcome back to the
Not Even French Channel. No the title of this video was not clickbait I am
genuinely going to do a video about the things that I really hate about living
in Paris or at least very strongly dislike and I know that I'm probably
opening myself up to a lot of hate from the internet and that's totally fine, a
lot of comments saying if you don't like it just leave and all that kind of stuff
because you know I've been living in Paris for over five years now I've made
it my home for most of my twenties and I loved a lot of things about this city so
I'm very comfortable and being able to talk very openly and honestly with you
guys about the things that I just don't like about living here. I feel like
there's this huge market out there almost about how perfect Paris is and
life in Paris and it's really idolized and stuff and it is a beautiful
beautiful city but can sometimes be really hard to live in if you're
genuinely interested in some of the downsides about Paris as a city keep
watching and we'll dig into them right now. So something that you will find
after living in Paris for probably at least six months / a year to really start picking up on it but it's a city full of what I
call micro aggressions. Things are coming at you, little things, but little negative
experiences or interactions with the world quite frequently throughout your
day and that builds up over a week over a month and so on and I'm going to give
you a few examples of what a micro aggression may be so a micro aggression
may be someone absolutely pushing past you to get into the metro because
they're obviously running later to work than you are. You also see people kind of
yelling in at each other quite a lot a lot of road rage going on you know for
example if a motorcyclist cuts off a driver you'll hear him screaming and
cursing and being really really kind of aggressive. It can be that person pushing
in front of you in the queue at La Poste for example does that has happened to me
before and I'm like excuse me madam I was waiting and she was like yeah
yeah but I've just got one thing to send and and I'm like I'm sorry, what?! Same, I
also have one thing to send, get to the back of the line! The other micro-aggressions include
pollution so both noise smell sight these kinds of things so this can be
literal pollution which sometimes Paris suffers from
really badly and you can feel it in your lungs if you spend a lot of time outside
when it's a period of very high a pollution there's a lot of noise
pollution it's a very dense city motorbikes especially I find difficult
in the summer. We're lucky enough to have a terrace and when we open our doors and
the summer to get the air coming in we constantly hear VROOM VROOM I've like
really really loud motorbikes for example. Another micro-aggression can be
the cigarette smoke in your face which happens all the time it's very hard to
walk around Paris without getting a face full of cigarette smoke specially during the
summer time and then there's just a little daily bits and pieces like the
fact that you know living in an apartment you can often hear people
walking above your head so if they get up really early in the morning like my
neighbours are doing at the moment – thanks guys – you wake up with them, if you have
construction work going on in the apartment above you below you beside you
or even outside on the street you hear that, there's no escape to that So a lot of that stuff may just be
general big-city life stuff but I really think there are a lot of kind of
micro-aggressions that just kind of get to you a little bit on a daily kind of
basis. Now one of the things that I find really tough about Paris is the customer
service I'm the first to say that I think that the cliche that French people
are rude is unfounded I think there are so many cultural aspects that can
explain the majority of situations and it was actually the first video that I
ever did on my channel but in the video I did talk about the concept that in
France the customer is not the king you know and this mentality that they have
to serve you and around service is very degrading for some French people so what
this means is that when you go into a store it's really common that they may
not even acknowledge your presence and if they do maybe they just like Bonjour but they don't really mean it you know they don't really care how you are kind of thing and it's super common to be standing there
waiting for the person in front of you in a shop and they'll just be finishing
their conversation with their colleague and they'll just be chatting there and laughing and discussing things that are obviously not
work-related and you'll just be standing there waiting and you just wait and you
wait for them to finish their conversation and there's also a lot of
blaming I find in the customer service here so I remember one time the bank
teller didn't warn me about a very important aspect of my my bank account when I took it out, it was around the fees on my account and he was
like "but you never asked me!" you know it's like it's your fault you didn't ask
the right question there's also a lot of "c'est pas moi qui decide, c'est pas mon job" like it's not my job it's not me who decides, not really solutions focus but
more like no we can't "c'est pas possible" it's not possible "du tout, madame – not at all" and sometimes you have to really push and push and push and convince
people to help you so if they say no it's not possible
you have to try again and they say look it's not me who decides you have to try
again and they're like look it's not my job you have to try again and then maybe
finally at one point they may give you what you want…
maybe. I mean I'm kind of used to it now but to be honest and banks and post
offices and any administrative situations especially you can expect
really poor service. Point number three and I don't really need to detail this
but there's a smelly metro and a lot of smelly areas of Paris around the train
stations especially and they smell like urine. People in Paris,
especially men in Paris they will pee on the streets I mean I've seen that in
broad daylight on my walk to work several times just a guy turning by a
car whipping it out and peeing on the street
and I just feel like in general around the the dirtiness of Paris people do
litter and spit and throw cigarette butts on the ground and I just don't
feel like people take care of the city I feel like they use it and abuse it and it's not really community-minded because if you were thinking
about other people and the fact that they may walk through your piss or your
spit or your dog poo on the ground whatever it is, you wouldn't do it
right? So there's this kind of mentality that I don't really like which
is that "well I need to pee so I'm gonna pee on the and too bad for anyone else who smells it or who steps in it" and that's kind of gross. Another thing that I really hate in
Paris and I do find quite particular to Paris is the amount or the intensity of
how creepy some guys are here and obviously not all guys but at least once
per day I have an uncomfortable unenjoyable interaction. It's like cat
calling but on crack. After work I can get followed for example the guys are
like "madame, madame, t'as un 06?" what's your number? Or "t'es jolie, t'es belle" and they'll be really like saying oh you're pretty you're pretty and if
you ignore them you know they can start insulting you they can call you "sale pute" like dirty whore and it's crazy they can just like change like
that it's really kind of aggressive here in some ways and I've had multiple
friends be flashed so where a man will just like flop out their junk in front
of them I'm on the Metro on the train on the street. You need to be very careful in
the Metro because there are a lot of creepy guys down there that will feel
you up so and they'll you know pinch your bum they'll they'll try and feel
you they'll push themselves in to you they'll make the most of the fact that
the metro carriage is packed full. Sometimes on the metro you'll just have men just
staring at you. I'm actually gonna link to a video on this topic by The Purple
Palace who's an American based here in Paris and he talked about one of the
experiences she had where she had a man actually follow her and he wouldn't stop
sort of harassing her but I liked this video because she said that the guys in
Paris are so thirsty and that's such the right word for it that's a perfect term these
thirsty, creepy men. Another thing that I don't really like about Paris is the fact that we're not near the sea you have to take a train for at least a few hours
and then probably get in the car as well to be able to get to the seaside. I'm
just not used to it being from New Zealand you're never too far from the
sea I grew up on the sea so and there's something about Paris that makes me feel
very very landlocked so I really treasure it when we go down to the south
of France down to Marseille even just to see the sea
makes me feel so much better. In Paris something that's not very nice
is that you have to be really careful with your bag and your phone because of
the pickpockets when you're outside on the terrace and enjoying a drink or
something you're always worrying like where's your bag you know you can't
really just put your bag down on a chair and forget about it you have to be
really really careful even when you're texting and the metros got to be careful
because it can get swiped out of your hands this kind of thing. Another thing
that I hate about Paris is how many minerals and how much calcium there is
in the water firstly you can taste it a lot when
you're drinking the water which is fine I drink tap water but you do have to get
used to the taste or you need to filter it a lot but it's more so effects that
it has on your skin and hair. I find that my skin is very dry and can get very itchy and flaky and the ends of my hair just very dry very brittle. When the
water dries it leaves these minerals so of course if you're washing your hair
with this water and you let it dry naturally you're gonna have like the
crusty minerals crystallizing on your hair and damaging it
oh and another thing on the calcified water is it makes your towels really
hard and stiff you know like you don't have nice fluffy plush like snuggly
towels, they're like cardboard. Now getting it on to a topic that's a little bit sensitive
but I find that there's a lot of fat shaming in Paris so especially amongst
females there's this striving to be skinny and kind of idolizing a very thin
body frame and I found that there's a lot of comments that get made
between females when you're eating and be kind of passive-aggressive like oh
you've got a lot on your plate I couldn't finish that much or oh
that's very fat oh oh that looks good very heavy though or like oh I'm not gonna be able to eat dinner now because I had such a big lunch and this kind of stuff
sometimes like I just want to be able to eat something guilt-free without a
comment sometimes I want to be able to take a nice cookie with my lunch without
having someone cover oh oh a cookie like yep I took a cookie. Sometimes I'm just like Something that I find very sad about
Paris and it's something that I really hate because I feel very frustrated that
is so little that I can do is that when you realize that a lot of the beggars on
the street even a lot of the guys selling all of the trinkets you know if
you visit Paris you know that under the Eiffel Tower and in Montmartre there's
so so many guys and they're selling exactly the same trinkets these little
Eiffel Towers and after living here for a while you get to know in fact all of
those kinds of things actually organized so these poor men on the streets selling
these goods or these these beggars and they're often female beggars with with
babies and stuff a lot of it is actually organized so there's actually kind of
almost like a mafia behind it and they're actually being pimped out so even if you
do give them your money and you do buy things they get to keep very little of
it I don't even know if they get to keep any of it to be honest. They're actually just the
pawns in some evil mastermind's games. You can't give them money so it's yeah
it's an awful feeling really and it's something that I find really sad and a
kind of sad daily reminder that I see every day on the streets of Paris. Okay
so that's it for this video this week I hope that was interesting for you I hope
it wasn't too depressing or too negative I do try and stay very objective and I
wouldn't share these kinds of things with you just to to bash on Paris I mean
it's my home so I obviously I've chosen to spend so much of my life here so
please don't think that I'm just being a hater for the sake of it. I hope that's
that this was interesting and informative and if you have any
questions about these topics that I've raised in this video or any of my videos
actually feel free to ask me down below. So thank you guys for watching all the
way until here and I will see you next Wednesday on the Not Even French channel for another video. A bientôt!

44 thoughts on “THINGS I HATE ABOUT LIVING IN PARIS | Expat Life in Paris, France

  1. Salut friends! I hope you appreciate my honesty in this video! Please remember to stay kind in the comments because Paris is home to a lot of people (including me!). Here's your video guide:
    1. A city of Micro-Aggressions 0:57
    2. Shocking Customer Service 3:28
    3. Smells/Dirty city, people treating Paris like a trash can 5:36
    4. How intensely creepy the men can be 6:38
    5. Being far from the sea 8:18
    6. Fear of pickpockets 8:46
    7. Hard water full of minerals (especially calcium) 9:09
    8. The frequent food-shaming / fat-shaming 10:00
    9. The sadness of the organised crime behind beggars, scams and people selling trinkets 10:50

  2. Just stop living in Paris, move out to another city in France. Even French hate Paris and find it smelly, dirty, agressive, noisy.. No French who was not born in Paris want to go living there.

  3. When I was in Paris, I was walking around & runner wasn’t paying attention, turned without looking to run in a different direction & fully stomped on my foot really hard. Had I not been in a lot of pain, I would’ve screamed at her. She didn’t even acknowledge me.

  4. I spent a summer in Europe years ago, and I agree that the French need some potty training! They just urinate wherever they happen to be. If you could find a restroom, it usually turned out to be filthy. At one restaurant, the restrooms didn't even have doors. I also got tired of the bad customer service. I would find something I wanted and put it on the counter with my money. The French employees would act like they had no idea that I was trying to buy something. So I'd go put the item back where I got it and start walking for the door. They would run after me, and I would just keep walking. I did not have any souvenirs from France when I got home.

  5. hi, just popping in to say that microaggressions are actually already a thing and they're not random bouts of unkindness or being inconsiderate/rude. microaggression is a term used sociologically to describe normalized actions/interactions of prejudice against oppressed groups such as assuming POC aren't "real" americans (or any other white european/colonizing nation.) or asking to touch (particularly) afro-caribbean hair.

    i know you weren't intentionally misappropriating this terminology but i just thought i'd interject to clarify that for you and for others who might stumble across this video!

    also i should add, i really enjoy your videos! i'm living vicariously through your parisian adventures here in the great white north hahaha <3

  6. Also a guy who lived in Paris for 3 years told me that it is very hard to live in Paris b/c of the high cost of living and housing in relation to avg wage/salary. He told me middle-class Parisians are not financially stable and basically live check to check. He was fine living in Paris b/c he is a physician, but told me that $500k will disappear in an instant.

  7. Wow so interesting! I like that you talk about things a tourist wouldn't pick up on. I too grew up in an island in America and and lived in NYC because it's surrounded by water. Being land locked is hard when you love the Sea. Very cool video. I've been to Paris and France what I found I disliked the most were the people. Men and women would just stare at you it really annoyed me my friend who was Dutch said the French may like you but they don't like each other. Lol

  8. They don't sell fush and chups, sing slice of heaven and talk about rugby union all day..
    Seriously Paris is my least favourite city in Europe. Boring grey cold city. Will never go back.

  9. OMG so good to hear this. I'm a Francophile and adore Paris and anything French (except some of the hate against refugees, right?) I been bitching about my medium-sized U.S. ocean town last few days and this puts things in perspective. I have lived in DC, Baltimore and NYC and A LOT of what you describe is just life in a mega-city. So many cool things but some smelly, loud, rude stuff too. Apparently living in the "bucolic" countryside in any country can be yucky too–farm noise and machinery, isolation, boredom, poison herbicide drift, allergies, rudeness to outsiders, animal poop smells, provincialism and bigotry. I'm sick of pet animals peeing anywhere in cities–it's sickening and so unhealthy. Heartily endorse fat-shaming–75% of people in the usa are fat 42% are obese–it's a health crisis and raises all our HI premiums. Sorry that's not nice, but thin means healthy. It's not just a looks thing. I'm sick of fat -a——Nowhere is perfect.

  10. I`ve been to Paris a few times, and some people were rude for no reason. Two girls at a nightclub laughed at me because I didn't speak French, and told me that everyone should learn the language of the city they're visiting. They also told me they didn't drink beer because they wouldn't want to get fat like me. They smelled really sweaty and their hair was greasy, but I didn't comment that, because why would I?

  11. Hauts de Seine > paris

    If u read this strangers dnt live in the center of Paris go in the south west 16 eme 15 eme 14 eme buy the best is hauts de Seine like issy les moulineaux

    It’s better than Paris and with no pollution

  12. a lot of those thigs happen in many big cities. i get being landlocked, and the harassment is awful. here where i live (a second world country) the metro is very safe and policed. if you'd expose your junk you'd prolly get punched. also take my word for it: EAR PLUGS. use them. they make being an urbanite so much easier.

  13. The noise pollution isn’t a “micro aggression” it’s a real problem. I was in Greece for ten days and thought i was being tortured with sleep deprivation. The motor bikes are so loud and the echo and they never stop!!!!! How do people live like that!

  14. I was in line at a McDonald's in Hawaii and a Frenchman was in line behind me. He was physically pushing me and bitching about the service. I asked him to back up a bit and he began shouting that I need a man's penis between my legs. I bitch-slaped him a good one and he kicked me. On the way out of the restaurant with my breakfast and saw his eyeglasses on the floor. I had slapped them right off of his face! He hadn't noticed they were gone. He also didn't notice me pick them up. Vengeance is so sweet.

  15. I lived in Paris for about a year way back in 1989 and unfortunately is does appear as if nothing has changed. Your list of nine items would be very close to the list I would make from my living there. I found myself instantly thinking of several personal examples of each item you noted. I would have to say that "micro-aggressions", poor customer service, and general smelly/dirty state were the most off-putting.

    Yes, the pissing all over the place sounds like an exaggeration, but it was so common when I was living there it almost felt comical. There were many things I enjoyed and others that I just want to forget but together they make up one of the most amazing years of my life.

  16. Good thing I haven’t been to Paris, sounds like my interactions with some wouldn’t go very well. I don’t expect everyone to be like me but I’m an American that has manners and can’t stand rude people. There are a lot of people I get irritated with here lol.

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