Current State of Mind: “My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.” Jack Kerouac
Music Mood: Baltimore's Fireflies
Today I opened up the Dutch Marie Clarie ( feb 2013). I am not a big fan of reading magazines, but this particular edition got my attention. There was an article with a manual about how to be an "Parisiene" by Pauline Breeuwsma.
Here is a summary of the article, it cracked me up:
1) PRACTICE YOUR POKERFACE
As soon as you arrive in Paris, put on your crumpy face, or in other words the famous: " faire la gueule". Many parisienes are familiar with this facial expression. Probably it comes from a combination of city stress, not wanting to stimulate the manly attention, a culture of disagreement about anything (from the the service in a shop to the trading on the streets) and the individualism from a metropolitan ( were you don't have to please others with your smile)
2) KNOW YOUR DISTRICT
In Paris EVERYTHING starts at the District (city area). Please study, as soon as possible all the different districts, so that you know them by heart. So, on the question: " Ou est votre hotel? you answer: 'Dans le 11eme' ( The 11th district, NEVER say District, because that is obvious) In these Districts you want to be seen:
* The 10th ( at Canel St Martin) here residents the hipster yuppies with strolers, in Paris they are also known as the 'Bobo's' ( see point 10)
* In the 11th live the freelance hipsters who doesn't want to be yuppies (yet) (Future, Me!?). Rue Oberkampf is their HQ, headquarters.
3) BOOK THE APPARTMENT OF A PARISIENE
If you want to feel like a real Parisiene you have to sleep comme une Parisiene. And then I do not mean under the influence of sleeping pills ( that 7,8 milion francaises take), but your actual sleeping place. When do you know that you have found the ultimate Parisian Apartment?
* It is a studio (1 room appartment) not bigger then 35 m2.
* There is a wall with obscure art: nude scetches, engravings and a framed BUG
* The kitchen and the bathroom are tiny (read: mini), with in the first a lot of pots and pans in the second, a bidet, filled with beauty products
* Except for the 'artwall' all other walls are taken by a great book collection, to flaunt your intellectual and cultural superiority .
Source: The Selby
4) KNOW YOUR BEAUTY SECRETS
In the morning you walk out of the door very "au naturelle" But before this look is established, there is a whole ritual to follow: 'faire sa toilette'. This means you prepare yourself in the bathroom for the whole day to come. You need that little make up, because you take care of your skin with the best products from your country. On every corner of the street there is a 'pharmacie" ( to be recognised by the green on and of lighted neon cross).
As a Parisiene you have tested all the products and you know the working components better than the beauty pharmacy worker that you have in front of you. Besides this, you take the whole year through all sorts of homeopathic pills; for your hair, nails and all other bodyparts. This costs some time and money, but then you will have a peachy skin that you will call 'Vous"
5) BE AN INTELLECTUAL CITIZEN OF THE WORLD
The conversations with your friends in Paris have just one purpose: to show off your intellectual status and your cultural knowledge. A couple of good opening lines: " What did you think of the Andy Warhol exhibition that opened yesterday at the grand Palais?' Did you heard about Jean Nouvels new project at Boulogne-Billancourt?' "Yesterday I read Sartres existencional Play' etc etc. The more complicated your frases the better. In this way you are secured of hour long conversations that lats until the early hours.
Another good subject in Paris: New York. Yep, New York as in the United States. Since a couple of years Pariesienes are obsessed ( it's all Garances fault...) by this city and they try to rebuild a little piece of little New York or Brooklyn. Thats why it is hot on Sunday to brunch and to flaunt as much as possible english terms and sentences; after work, seven to one ( afterwork drinks), cosy, arty, vintage, clubbing etc. Use these words for your ultimate Pariesiene Vocabulary.
6) EAT AND DRINK, BUT ALWAYS KEEP IT MODERATE
In Paris you always eat and drink in a small dose. You constantly get presented the most heavenly appetizers and topwines, you just nibble a bit on just one glass of the best Bordeaux of Bourgogne. When you order a desert you order an extra spoon, because you share this at all times with your table compagnions. Not only because you want to maintain your petite little body, but because you are terrified to get bad digestion. Thats why weeks before christmas you start taking your detox pills against bad digestion, because you know that with the holidays you are going to eat for hours with your family on the countryside.
But on other moments you sin, for example during your ' petite dejeuner' you buy a croissant that you dip in your cafe au lait, this is: 'un plaisir' that you owe to yourself.
7) DRESSCODE FOR ALL AGES
As a Parisienne you go through all sorts of radical dressing fases. Are you under 18 and you don't life in the 16th. Then you are an 'Alto' with creezy hair and worn out Dr Martens ( Have you discovered the dr Martens Flora yet?, they are amazing, I want them so bad!!). Do you live in the 16th then you look as if you just walked out of an Tommy Hilfiger advertisement Campagn.
Between your 18th and let's say 35th you reveal the fashion innovator in yourself that will be an inspiration for trendwatchers and fashiondesigners worldwide. At the moment that you are starting a family, your wardrobe makes a 360 degrees turn and you reveal the Classic Parisiene look from our fantasies: Timeless, Stylish and Classic a la Parisian Chic.
In the weekend you wear a cashmere jumper in marine blue, ballerina flats and a darkblue Jeans rolled up at the ankle, 'au bureau' pumps, pencil skirt and a Chanel bag. So the choice is up to you in what stage of life and style you want to surround yourself when you are a weekend in Paris.
8) HOW TO HANDLE LE METRO
You move fast in the underground corridors of the Parisian Metro. You get an infinite glance upon your face and stare into nothingness. Just at the second the doors close, you squeeze your tiny little Parisian frame inside the Metro. Once you got into the metro you have the following options to do:
* You seat yourself on a tip-up seat and you duck into your French little novel
* You get annoyed by the American Tourists that scream loudly: 'We have to go to Laduree to buy macarons'
* You ignore just another beggar who wants to share is life story in exchange for une petite piece (Euros) Whatever you do, always follow the next rule: NEVER make eye contact with your fellow travelers. Because imagine that you actually have a social interaction. Imagine you will talk to a stranger! You ( as a self -directed Parisienne) never let yourself engage in such proletarian matters. It needs no explanation that you only take the Metro when you are in zone 1 & 2 within the Peripherique ( Periph= the Parisian ring). Because god forbid that you have to move yourself in the RER, the metro for banlieues (suburbs). You rather trow yourself in front of it...
9) PARLES-VOUS PARISIEN?
Bobo - abbreviation for Bourgeois- Boheme, the Parisian Intelectual Bourgeoisie, in place of the 'hackneyed Yup'.
Pointu - This is used for almost everything that is approved by the 'innercircle of Parisian Bobos. As in: expo pointu, musique electro pointu, etc
Burn out - As in: having an ailment that rises with the average Parisien in her stressful environment.
Swag - Use this as: 'C'est tres Swag' with your English (or Dutch!) accent to accentuate that something is cool.
Buzz - As in: il y a un buzz - there is hanging a 'buzz' around it
C'est enorme - This is Super, Amaaaazing
C'est Clair - As in: C'est clair qu'il n'a rien foutu - It is clear that he didn't do anything
Je suis charrette / surbooke - I am mega bussy
Deadline - As in: J'ai un enorme deadline pour mardi - I have an enormous deadline for tuesday.
Hipster - Pronounce: Iepsteur
10) DRIVE A DENTED CAR
If you may decide to move yourself around the city of love with an automobile, then leave your slick company car at home. The only allowable car is a dented mini model of patriotic brands such as Renault or Peugeot. Once you crossed the 'Periph' ( watch out for mopeds and scooters that circulate by an unwritten law between the 2nd and the 3th lane) you drive 'tooting' and with a high speed through the town.
In a one way street you press yourself between bumper to bumper between two other dented cars. Never use your handbrake, because your neighbours only come out if they can push you a litte bit. If you do not find a parking spot then you park at he sign 'Interdit de stationner'. This means that you are not allowed to park there, but you as a Parisian don't give a 'chier' ,s**t about that. You mostly will get a fine of 12,50 Euro, for this amount you can leave your car there the whole day, which is a pretty good deal. Moreover, in August you can park your car for free anywhere in the city.