Talking about French food, here are 5 things telling you you’re spending the evening with Parisians.
Parisians, as long as they can afford holidays in their own country, have all the same reflex when it comes to food: make an exhaustive list of every type of traditional food they tried, they are trying or they want to try. Talk about food, think about food. It is a fact, Parisians don’t have the richest food culture when it comes to naming a real Parisian dish, but the city is one of the most enjoyable places for restaurants, French and worldwide food. More than 6 000 places welcome aficionados every day in the French capital, what a lucky situation to be in!
Obviously the Parisian subway network is one of most efficient in the world: 5 different types of public transport (metro, RER, tram, bus or train) and a whole bunch of strategic and neuralgic hubs across the city. So whatever the plan is tonight, you are certainly more going from Chatelet to Opéra rather than from “place du Chatelet” to “rue de l’Opéra”. People here indicate and follow instructions by metro station. You are living in “République” no matter which side of the square and you have some friends around “Charles de Gaulle-Etoile” even they are staying right on the top of L’Arc de Triomphe. Parisians mostly don’t have a car or don’t use it inner city, so get used to knowing your metro stations as you might end up saying “I am going from Rome to Luxembourg” yet not bringing your suitcase.
Let the waiter choose the dinner wine
At some point, you totally forget which wine is really the best to go with this smelly pork rib covered with honey. Red or white? Fruity or woody? Unluckily none of your friends have ordered the same dish and everyone is literally staring at each other. While some adventurous ones are trying to sort out these wines they definitely can’t afford and those whose names remind them a little of something, no one is daring enough to take the responsibility of ordering. No panic, every real Parisian would do exactly the same as the waiter is approaching the table: “Oh thanks to choose the wine for us, I assume you are the best to take the final decision” As a matter of fact, it is of great value to trust your waiter.
Paris people are some kind of bookworms and proud enough to tell the world. There are actually books that every Parisian woman has read and is now “part of her identity”. Quoting Camus and Flaubert are famous signs of the intellectual allure some Parisians may have when they have to describe their week-end, their neighborhood or the last PSG performance. Quick tip: Get your coffee and drink it alone at a pavement café, watching the world and staying as long as you can in order to learn this great feeling of intellectual freedom.
24 hours open
Whenever you are spending your evening with Parisians, you are in a safe situation when it comes to finding a shop open at night or at crazy hours (regarding your own schedule). For example, you are finishing your last drinks at your friend’s party, it is a bit late but you start to feel hungry after what we can call here “business hours”. Don’t be surprised if your French buddy is taking you to “Au pied de cochon” in Chatelet (the metro station obviously, see above) to enjoy a nice piece of meat in the middle of the night.
Same if you wake up at 9 am on a Sunday and you need a bit of dancing to finish the week-end. You just have to go under the “Jardin des plantes” along the Seine and what a great thing to see these beautiful dancers on tango, salsa and batchata while the sun is up and the morning dawns. Basically, you are spending the night with Parisians, when there are no worries as to finding what you truly wish at this very particular moment, at this very particular place. Know your city like the back of your hand.