|French people rarely wear berets...|
Here's a few steps to act like a Parisian during your stay in the French capital. Eventually French people will dumbfoundingly utter « Oh, t'es pas français ?! » (you're not French ?!).
Speak like a Parisian
Obviously the best way to be Parisian is to speak French, however to supplement your language, beauf, sympa, and putain are three words to add to your French vocabulary.
Beauf in French is the stereotypical, classless chump who watches football (soccer) everyday, drinks lots of beer and is culture-less. It's not a good thing to be a beauf – which is why Parisians love using the term because it heightens the speaker's own social standing. In fact, in Paris, beauf can be anyone you don't know or anything you don't particularity care for.
Sympa is a shortened form of the French word sympathique (which means nice). Parisians love the word because you can appreciate a person or thing without going overboard. Do you like the architecture? It's nice. Do you like the meal I just spent hours making? It's nice. Just nice? Yes, just nice. You see, Parisians cannot love anything, that's so anti-Parisian.
I lied… Parisians love photos by Doisneau or sneaking a peice of caramel au beurre salé, but I digress.
You'll hear putain while walking the streets of Paris as well as between friends. The word putain is a magical interjection that spans from cussing out someone on the street to showing sympathy for a friend and everything in between. Although the word literally means "whore" it often is not connotated as such.
« Putain mais chuis sérieux »
« Il a trompé sa femme… »
« Putain ! »
Besides using those three words, Parisians incorporate A LOT of English into their everyday speech. Only the cool Parisians are so in-tune with the world that they speak English.
Café Culture + Apéro
|Apéritif is somewhere between 17h00 and 21h00|
Apéritif is the wonderful time of day when you sit down with your friends over Campari and discuss how much you hate Republicans. Nothing is more French, more Parisian, than sitting outside a café on a nice day and snacking away to hold you over until dinner. Nothing.
But how do I go about enjoying France's café culture?
The first step is to find a good café or brasserie. You want an authentic French place which does not try to cater to tourists otherwise you'll be charged more money for poor service and lower quality food (most tourists don't know what to expect in France, so they exploit you). Avoid restaurants which are right next to tourist traps as well as those which display their menus in several different languages. The easiest way to find a decent place is to find a place that already has many people seated.
When you find a café or restaurant simply sit where you want (preferably outside if it's a nice day) and the waiter will eventually ask what you'd like. Order a drink, enjoy the olives and pop open a nice book or converse with someone.
BONUS: When you're sitting outside at your café, have a copy of Le Monde folded up besides you. Although Parisians never have time to read it, it's universally accepted as good journalism. Congratulations, now you're sophisticated.
Dress Like a Parisian
While writing this, five out of eight French people who passed me by were wearing converse.