I hate to be the bearer of bad news – well, this is not such bad news – but the bearer of unfavorable news. However, I think it’s interesting to share with you guys some thoughts I’ve been having recently about living, loving and leaving Paris. As wonderful as Paris is, it is a city that has seen it’s share of wonderful people deciding they’ve had enough.
After living in Paris for the past 7 years, I’ve seen many people come and go. So far a few of my best friends have already left in the past 3 years, but this year, 2014 seems to be the year of The Mass Exodus – I know a whopping 6 of my closest pals that will be saying adieu or have already said so to ole gay Paree.
Notice: This is a (partially) true tale of The Top Reasons Why People Leave Paris
Here are some reasons, in nor particular order of importance, I suppose:
- People have kids – Ok, so on first sight this might not seem like an issue. But for all my friends, especially the non-french ones who mostly come from other well to do European countries where the quality of life is better (example Germany and Scandinavian countries), they weight long and hard the benefits of having their kids grow up “French” aka in the school system here and with French as their mother tongue (and their parents language a far second).
- Job Change – Sometimes it’s just that easy – your job takes you elsewhere. Or you’ve decided to give up the bohemian lifestyle of being an alcoholic writer in Pigalle go into rehab and become a teacher or something.
- Homesick – Now, this may seem childish to the very adventurous, but let’s all be honest after you’ve had all the cheese, wine and everything else that french are renowned for – sometimes nothing comes close to the mush and cheap thrills you reminisce over when you think about how much you miss your family or culture.
- Breakups– meaning you fall out of love with that special french person or that special french town and you decide to just call it quits. Au Revoir Paris.
- Parisian Apartments are small, hard to get and expensive – and they are freaking hard to get, well good ones even for the French. The standard are high for real estate agents and so is the pile of paperwork every time you think about renting an apartment. You either stay in your apart once you get it as long as you can or dread having to move at the end of your lease.
- Tired of the hassle of city life or the French system – As they say “it aint for everybody” – yea, so Paris is pretty, but it can also be pretty gritty when it comes to the ins and out of the french administrative system where there is no customer service culture, most people are rude even without realizing it, especially when you have an accent, and everything takes eons to get done in between tons of coffee breaks, long lunches, plentiful vacation days and just many “Pause technique” which means people just find million ways to work slower or not at all and the entire french system conspire to piss you off. Ranting, but I’ve been here many times…lol
- Learning French is “un peu difficile” – We’ll it’s not really hard if you immerse yourself in taking french classes, writing french and making all the mistakes necessary to be fluent in a year or so – but many people only have a year or so to not feel like a total outsider and only few survive the test. And in the end up hanging out in groups of expat where you don’t even need to speak french.
- Making friends is hard to do – Who wants to live in a place where you constantly feel like an outsider, it’s all good and well to be different, but I’ll tell you that you can’t survive in a city without a group of “Friends”. It’s hard making Parisian friends because they are mostly, well, very cautious about who they let in their friends circle, and generally have a lack of understanding of other cultures ( the French who do live in places like NYC, London, bref, other cities outside of France!)
- There’s a lot of these two – poo and tourists…hahaha! I love you guys but you know what I mean? right? I guess it depends on the neighborhood you live in but I’ve lived in Montorgeuil and Montmartre two very touristy areas and very (dog) shitty areas.
- France hates you – your time has expired and you need to leave for visa or work permit issues.
This might seem like a hard list to swallow – but you know, it’s all for fun. Would you add anything to the list? Next week I’ll create a top 10 reasons people move to Paris list. Stay tuned…