france - 5sizes2small's (f/35/united states) reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by 5sizes2small on 11/17/14.


What brought you to France?

My husband did. I met him online through a website called Gaia Online. We talked for several years and finally met in 2006 when I came to visit him here for 3 months on a traveler's visa. I have since moved here in officially in 2007 and currently still live in the Ile-de-France area.

Describe the city you live in there and your impressions of it.

I live in zone 3 which surrounds the main Paris zip code. Paris is very expensive so it's never been a choice to life there directly. I live north of Paris and have one station on my train before I am in main Paris at the Gare de Nord station anyways. Some might say I can move around quicker than those who live in the south of Paris.

The city I live in is very diverse with people from lost of different countries and cultures. As compared to the US this area is much safer than where I used to live in Kansas.

How does your race, nationality, gender, accent, etc. affect how you are treated or how people react to meeting you in France? Positively? Negatively?

I am a white female with dark features. When I first moved here I felt pressured to dress like the French women I see wherever. I bought new clothes that still sit my closet. I never felt like I fit in for a long time not just cause of my culture difference but the way I look and dress. I have since said 'I don't give a crap' and just dress and do what I like. I where a long mohawk with an arm tattoo and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Most people always want to know where I am from which is always referenced to Wizard of Oz or Superman. They sometimes make fun of my accent but not usually in a mean way. I know I sound strange to them. Most French people can speak a good level of English but they are too afraid to try and look stupid. But they will be more than happy to let you sound stupid to them.

How much is an average rent for an apartment? A beer at a bar? A meal at a restaurant?

My husband and I currently own our apartment out here in zone 3. Our old place was terribly old and run down. We would pay about 500 euros in rent. Now in our month mortgage it's more like 650 euros a month.

There are a lot of places to get Happy Hour in Paris now. It didn't used to be like that. Now you can get a pint for 5 euros easily or less. If it's not on Happy Hour than it's usually 6-8 euros a pint.

For lunch I try not to spend more than 8.50 euros on lunch if I have to eat out. I do not have as well paying job as some in Paris. For a meal with my husband we try not to spend more than 25-30 euros max unless it's a very high class place. I never order wine either because I hate it.

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