I arrived in NYC one month ago and I’m getting used to live as a New Yorker. Oddly, I do pretty well!
Fortunately, one of my friends was waiting for me and taught me everything I needed to know about how to live in the city which never sleeps!
Today, I’m this friend who is virtually waiting for you in Paris! Let’s point out all the differences between these two amazing cities and the things you must do and the ones you mustn’t do in Paris.
First of all, the subway: With its 14 subway lines and its 5 RER lines (to go to the suburbs), you can go from one side of Paris to another in a few minutes! And you won’t get lost, it’s easily understandable.
However, the taxis are not as available as in NYC…Do not even have the hope to find one on Saturday night, you will loose your time! Moreover, the subway closes at midnight-1 AM during the week and sometimes 2 AM the weekend. Fortunately, if the weather is good and you want to visit the city at night, you can take a ‘Vélib‘. The ‘Velib‘ are the bikes which are available all around the city, you pay a low price and you can use it as long as you need it, this is soooo cool!! If you have a car, do not use your klaxon as often as in NYC, you will be reprimanded all the time!
Secondly, keep your money! Forget all the taxes added to the prices you see in shops, and forget the tips you have to add to the total of the bill. What is written is what you have to pay, there’s nothing more. Nevertheless, of course you can give tips to the waiters in the restaurant if they’re nice! You also have to know that shops are not opened on Sunday, only the restaurants. There is no Duane, CVS etc opened 24hrs. Of course there are some pharmacy opened on Sunday but you may have to go from one part of Paris to another…
Moreover, in Paris, the majority is at 18 years old, so do not wait until 21 to go there and enjoy Paris at night! And, anyway, the security guys look at your face, so, if you look older than your age, you can enter. However, if you look younger, whereas you are 18, they may not let you in…Take care of your look guys!
Now, if you’re not only a tourist but also a student, you MUST know that you absolutely CAN’T do everything you want: Do not go to the bathroom before asking the teacher (btw, he can say ‘no’), do not eat your lunch in class, do not quit class without permission. However, as we are many more students in a classroom (30-35, or in the ‘amphi’ courses 100 and more), if a morning you are tired, you do not have to participate in class, just stay there and sleep:)
Life in Paris is not the same than in NYC. Paris is an old city, with lots of old buildings, which are called “immeubles haussmanniens”. Paris is an amazing city where you can do whatever you want to do (visit, walk, hang out, work, do some sport etc) as in NYC but the atmosphere is very different, it is hard to explain without being there. So, if you want to understand what i mean by saying that, you should buy a ticket and flight to Paris for Thanksgiving!