Paris: Your Frequently Asked Questions

Aviation is an amazing thing.  In the span of about seven hours, I went from having this very expensive $12 glass of fine Newark airport wine…

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to this…

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Here, you can buy two bottles of wine at the local supermarket for about 4 Euros a bottle.  With the current exchange rate, that equals less than $5 a bottle, which makes that aforementioned glass of Newark airport wine a huge rip off.  Plus, the 4 Euro wine here is good, in fact better, than any expensive bottle of wine we’ve ever tasted.

This is Paris, our big city by the Seine.  With a total of four trips together (and 6 total trips for Paul), we have yet to see and taste everything this beautiful city has to offer.  We often get asked the same question: “Why do you keep going to Paris?” and we can’t come up with a simple and concise answer.  Rather we ramble about all that is good here: the slow pace, the small portion sizes, the quiet hum of packed cafes, the wine and cheese picnics on the river’s edge, the baguettes, the markets, the ease of getting to Provence, and that sparkling tower…just to mention a few.

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This often leads to more questions.  Here we answer some of the frequently asked questions we get about our Paris habit:

Do you speak French?  

No.  Paul took French in school and I took Spanish, and recently, we both took a healthy dose of Rosetta Stone.  Paul speaks enough to get us by and I’ve mastered a few common French phrases, but in actuality, our French is pretty limited.  I can’t stop putting a Spanish accent on everything, this a result of my high school Spanish IV Honors education.  I’m proud of how far I got in Spanish and therefore, I’ve put a Spanish spin on my poor French-speaking skills.  Paul, on the other hand, is quite convincing.  He sounds pretty authentic until a local responds to him in quick conversational French.  Our confused facial expressions most certainly always result in a good laugh and a much-needed English translation.

Is Paris expensive?

Not as expensive as a weekend in Disney World.  Just trust us on this one.  We’ve compared, side by side, the weekend we spent with the family in Disney World to our month in Paris.  When you crunch the numbers, it is cheaper for two people to live in Paris for a month than to visit the Mouse’s House.  And, keep in mind, that’s Disney for the weekend, without kids…

The French are rude, right?

We hate this question.  There are some people who completely avoid this amazing city because they’ve “heard” the French are rude.  They are only rude if you give them good reason to be.  Let me put it this way.  Imagine you work at a restaurant in New York City and a French-speaking family comes in to dine at your establishment.  Would you be able to speak to them in their language?  Most likely, the answer is no.  Would you expect them to speak yours?  Certainly, they are in your English-speaking restaurant.  Am I right?  But here it is different.  Many English speakers walk into French businesses with the expectation that the employees will speak English.  We’ve witnessed it so many times.  You’re in France!  Part of the fun is that they don’t speak English!  Trying to speak French and fumbling a little will not only get you better service, it will almost always guarantee you some help and a few recommendations when it comes to navigating the menu.  The best way to learn about how other people live in this world is to put yourself a little bit outside of your comfort zone.  It opens the door to some unforgettable experiences and gives you the kinds of stories you’ll keep telling for years to come.

Is staying in an apartment more expensive than a hotel?

No.  In fact, it is much cheaper to stay in a huge apartment than a tiny hotel room.  On our very first trip to Paris, our hotel room was so small we had to crawl across the bed to get to the bathroom!  In an apartment, you can spread out, open the windows, put your feet up, and take in the cafe life.  Plus you can still run to the fridge when you get that late night craving for some cheese and toasts.

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So, are you ready to jump on a plane and visit this city for yourself?  Or do you still have some unanswered questions?  Let us know and we’d be happy to answer what we can.  We are not experts, but we’ve got enough experience to give you a good foundation for your future Parisian adventures.  We can recommend airlines, restaurants, tours, food, accommodations, and more.

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