Salut YouTube! Welcome back to my channel, or if it's your first time here Hi! I'm Rosie I'm a New Zealander living in France and today I was thinking way back when to when this little 23 year old kiwi decided to move to France and how my expectations about moving to Paris and moving to France met the reality. At the time when I had moved here I had never been to mainland Europe, I had never been to a country where they don't speak English as its main language, I was so naive! I had a very particular image of Paris built up in my mind and today we'll talk through whether or not I found that to be true So, cue intro So the first expectation I had of Paris was that it was going to be beautiful but what they were often mentioning were the big sights to see, so the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and of course these things are beautiful but what I think is totally underrated is just walking around Paris just soaking it all in. I love the Haussmannian apartments and I love that they're all so uniform as well. I think that when I was preparing to move here I imagined it would be a few nice monuments in the middle of a very modern city with a lot of high-rises maybe a little bit more like London. Lucky Paris got a lot less bombed in the war than London did and so actually I was shocked at how consistent it was how at every turn, every street, you've got this beautiful Haussmannian architecture and beautiful sights You turn a corner - BOOM, fountain Turn another corner - BOOM, church Of course at the moment I'm talking about Paris city center - in certain suburbs in certain areas there's definitely the dodgy and dirty parts, just like any big city, but in general I find Paris extremely beautiful And you get to a point where you've got the bridges and the Eiffel Tower and you can see the Petit Palais and you can see MusÃ©e d'Orsay behind you and you just have a visual orgasm there's no better way to describe it and being from such a new and modern country like New Zealand I just get overwhelmed at how much history there is. Imagine all the people that loved and lived and fought and died on those streets and when you look at the Notre Dame, a building that took 200 years to build, I mean how did they do it with their bare hands they didn't have power drills they didn't have modern scaffolding it was just people dedicating their lives building these kinds of buildings of the city and it just makes me really appreciate living here and this was an expectation that was definitely fulfilled The second thing that I had in mind about moving to Paris was that it was going to be a very dirty and smelly city... Okay so it depends on you a reference point of course I'm from a very clean green kind of country and so my reference point is very clean and so I would give this expectation a big true true true When I first arrived I thought that Paris was an ashtray; it was smelly, it was dirty, I was really surprised at how many cigarette butts that were on the street, there's the dog poo... I mean it's not awful I mean it's not like you're stepping in poo with every step but maybe once every two to three hundred metres you could actually come across the dog poo and the city's trying, they're trying really hard to put measures in place where it's illegal and you'll get fined to put your cigarette butt on the ground and to not pick up after your little doggie friend when he does his business, so I think I have seen some slight improvements over time And there's definitely a thing in Paris around the scents So it's really difficult to take big deep breaths in the city, I find anyway personally because I'm very sensitive to smells so when I'm walking around I just breathe out of my mouth primarily like I've literally changed the way in which I breathe, it's just subconscious now as soon as I'm walking down towards the metro I start breathing via my mouth in and out because it smells like pee down there just or and sometimes it just smells of I don't even know what, just something and it's just kind of gross just people. I think perhaps the most shocking thing about Paris in all of this is that people pee on the streets So when I say people I mean often not women like just squatting down and going for it no it's usually the men But they'll just whip it out into a corner like the corner of two buildings coming together and they'll just pee on the street Not always at night time, it's not always when they're drunk after they've been partying no no no, it can be day, night, that can definitely happen and I actually asked my French colleagues about this, about whether they thought it was normal or not and they were like yeah now that you bring it up I suppose that is pretty gross but I have never really thought about it before and this is a French person speaking and they said "oh you know but in saying that, my boyfriend and I do have a street near our place that we call 'rue de la piss' because it smells so badly like let's just go get our baguette and croissants on 'rue de la piss' shall we darling? So point number three is that I was expecting Paris to be a very romantic city and if I didn't put you off already with my tales of poop and piss let me take it one step further for you to kill those dreams. So the main reason that this is so false is that Paris is a city that you have to share with a lot of other people firstly so if you're walking around the river and saying wow and soaking up all the architecture and all of the beauty and the grandeur there's a lot of other people around you often doing the same thing unless you are lucky it's in the evening middle of August and all the Parisians have gone on summer vacation whatever Then when you get to the beautiful monuments you get to the Scare Coeur you get to the Eiffel Tower, there'll often be people around selling trinkets, begging for money, selling water bottles, so that's kind of a mix of things obviously it's said and you feel sorry for these people and also you know it's not exactly romantic when you're walking under the Eiffel Tower and there's someone pushing a $1.00 keyring on you over and over and you're having to say to them please leave me alone thank you no thank you and also just because Paris is so densely populated there's a lot of noise, a lot of traffic you're often hearing horns and motorbikes zooming past and it kind of kills the ambience so no unfortunately I do not find Paris a romantic city overall there's just too many things that are coming together to kill the vibe a little bit My big expectation number four is the tiny Parisian apartment and this is true true true - people live in the tiniest apartments over here. Back in New Zealand when we're at university for example we're used to sharing big houses with 3,4,5 bedrooms and okay you would be sharing with other flatmates but there'd be big communal living spaces, outdoor areas usually, you could go around to a friend's for a barbecue if you didn't have one yourself, you can have that kind of indoor/outdoor flow which we value a lot in New Zealand and they're starting to build more and more apartment buildings now in Auckland, that's not really a way of life that we are used to we often just living in houses or flats we really don't live in small high-rise apartments but even for the ones they are building an Auckland there are legal minimums in terms of space so for a one-bedroom apartment the legal minimum size is 35 square metres that is a castle in Paris In Paris the smallest apartment that you can legally rent is nine square metres! Basically that's like a small single bed and a small shelf with a microwave and an electric plate on it and a little bathroom like it's nothing, I mean I think Harry Potter was better off In Paris even when you're a student you tend to live alone and so you tend to take these little studio apartments just like that and then when you enter into relationships you maybe upgrade you maybe get one bedroom if you're lucky otherwise if you're on a budget you do stay in the studio living Again this is all going to be relative depending on where you're coming from if you're from London for example maybe you find the rent price is super low here and the apartments nice and big and generous I don't know but from new zealand perspective I find the apartments over here tiny and super expensive Number five, an expectation that I had from people telling me over and over and over you don't need french because everyone will speak English and by the way you will pick up french so quickly you'll be fluent in three months and it will be no drama whatsoever this is so false it takes so long to learn french I think if you come over to france and you just study French for six months you do a french language course and you're in it all day every day you're living with a host family okay fine but in my case when I was studying in English writing my thesis in English interning in English like no it can take one, two, three years to feel confident in French and to be fluid and conversational and to not search for your words, really it takes a long time so if you are moving here and you're learning French for the very first time as an adult with no high school education and French please be kind with yourself and patient with yourself because it does take a while and the 'no French no problem' thing is not really true because you really do need to speak French because even if the French do speak a bit of English, it can make them uncomfortable and embarrassed sometimes to speak it if they aren't sort of fluent in English so they kind of expect you to make the effort, I mean hey, we're in France after all So that's it from me some of my expectations that I had about Paris and whether they were so true or so false If you've ever lived in Paris or have visited please let me know what you were expecting and then what the reality was, that'll be a really good laugh I'm sure and if you like these kinds of videos about expat life, life in France, travel, culture, all those good things please hit subscribe because you'll have a lot more from me coming out in the next few weeks and until then friends, Ã bientÃ´t!