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Ten Things I Hate About You

Pont des Arts
Here's ten things I hate about you, Paris.

1. Dogshit. I hate the way you Parisiens think it perfectly acceptable to let your mutt defecate wherever it likes. I hate the way you can't even kick it off the footpath into the gutter.

2. Smoking. I hate the way you Parisiens think it perfectly acceptable to light up in a restaurant and blow your secondhand smoke over the other diners. (And I'm a smoker). And I come close to creating an international incident when one of you selfish pricks lights up a cigar in a restaurant.

3. I hate the way shop-assistants either ignore you, are rude to you or are generally unhelpful in stores.

4. I hate the way you French "invade my space". Get back from me. I don't want to smell your foul breath. I don't want to feel your sad-arsed body up against mine (with exceptions, of course). Don't you realise we don't like people so close to us? We like our "space". Respect it. (If you have the misfortune to join a queue in France (in itself a cultural anomaly) you'll realise that they like to be close - touching close)

5. I fucking HATE the way you don't respect pedestrian crossings. What the fuck are they for if I can't confidently expect a car to stop while I'm on one? - with the little green man showing, I might add. You don't even stop while I have the kid in my arms or the stroller.

6. I hate the way the supermarket shelves are stocked during the day. Meaning you have to negotiate your way around shelf-stackers and their trolleys. Haven't you guys heard of working nights? It's ridiculous.

7. I hate the way supermarkets are always running out of stock. Not unusual stock. Basics like sugar, flour, milk. What's with that?

8. I hate the way you guys drive generally but I particularly hate the way you block intersections so that no-one can go anywhere. It should be made a hanging offense. And then, of course, you sit there looking straight ahead, ignoring the chaos you've caused, you selfish son-of-a-bitch.

9. I hate the way you run red lights. I see it every day. And it's not just one offender - sometimes it's half-a-dozen. And then they compound it by blocking the intersection.

10. I hate the way you guys park. How you double-park and block the street while you get your baguette or pick up the dry cleaning. Or you park over the pedestrian crossing so I can't get the stroller past. And HOW you park! Jesus! I call it contact parking - you think it perfectly acceptable to shunt another car out of the way to make room for you. Even if that means the other car is trapped for the duration. If I catch you doing that to my Benz I'm gonna kick your lights in. I'm not kidding.

I hope there's a Parisien out there who's gonna post "Ten things I hate about you Sydney". Wonder what they'll be?

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Reader Comments (7)

Re # 6: It's not just Paris. Coles Surry Hills, I'm looking at you. Why would you feel the need to restock shelves at 6 pm on a Wednesday?

And why do they always have four of the fewer than 12 items lanes CLOSED when the line at the other end is 20 people deep?
January 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterWCS
WCS, I know it sucks being non-vehicular, but I gotta say, I find the more people a Coles has to support, the more impossible it is.

Case in point: Broadway coles: 6pm on a monday and your queues are halfway down the aisles with the express queue a good 40-50 people long. Leichhardt Coles: 6pm on a Monday and it's 'busy' if you have to line up behind someone.

Gotta love the suburbs.
January 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterC LaRue
The 10 things I hate are dogshit*10!!... and they couldnt kick it off the footpath parce que tous les chiens sont des malades avec la diarrhee, qui font des crottes liquides et oranges parce qu'ils sont nourris d'ordure, et ils n'ont jamais goute de la vrai viande crue ni couru librement dans la plein air!

But come to think of it, the inability of shops to keep up decent stock levels is REALLY annoying, too!

To be fair, we should now write down the things we love about Paris, too!
January 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterOzzie
You start :)
January 25, 2006 | Registered CommenterMalcolm Lambe
The ficelle avec camembert.

The cafe au lait.

The view from the Arc de Triomphe.

Anne Fontaine.

Sephora (and by extension LVMH).


Singing "Sur Le Pont D'Avignon" and really meaning it.

Notre Dame

The Loire Valley (not Paris but I love it so)

Frites as they should be.

Not a definitve list, but some of my faves.

January 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterWCS
3 of them food. Gotta agree with that. And frites taste so much better than "freedom fries" from Crackerville, USA (Up your Stupid Arse). The coffee too is much better than that swill the Seppos drink. But Italian coffee is still the best in my book.

Where's Ozzie's List? (a sheila BTW)
January 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterlambe, paris
OK, but i warn you this will be very differnet to most peoples' lists, because i dont eat bread, i hate pollution and i love really wild natural places!

1. speaking and understanding the language - endless source of enjoyment and fascination every day!

2. the fabulous books and magazines - kiosks, newsagencies and bookshops EVERYWHERE (the OPPOSITE of the US, except NY & a few other places - you have to get in your car and drive on a 12-lane superhighway surrounded by GIANT SUVS, to an outer-suburb shopping mall, in order to even FIND a bookshop - and newsagences dont exist, explains a lot eh!)

3.the heated political arguments

4.the fantastic education system and wonderful university teachers, who along with my french-language teachers, i will never forget

5.the intelligence and erudition of so many of the people

6.the superb organic market, and the happy smiling healthy faces of the people who grow the best organic food in the world (after living in 4 countries!)

7. the randomness and independent spirit of the people (even though it causes them to do annoying things like soil footpaths and nearly kill me crossing Avenue Foch!)

8. the wonderful old apartment buildings, the apartments that feel like real family homes due to their layout and the generations raising their families in them, the way they renovate, decorate & furnish in a modern or even rustic style without it being either cold or kitsch

9. the French "today" show on France 2, "Question Maison" and "Silence ca pousse" on France 5, and the funny TV ads - plus allk the great and unsual movies shown on TV and in cinemas from all over the world

10. the way every part of Paris is wonderful to live in its own way - like lots of little villages, and most with fantastic facilities for families where you need them - kindies, schools, kids toy shops, supermarches everywhere, plus hardware stores and evrything else you need (ditto the drive to find a supermarket in the US, and dont even look for hardware shops!) - and you can get in your car and easily find all the big superstores you need as well!

10. the Majestic Cinema at Passy - just the way a real old-fashioned movie theatre should be, and with all the best movies!

Have to add: 11. everyone is SLIM!!!

Yep, Italian coffee wins the worldwide best hands-down (even though French coffee is WAY better than what they sell in the US)

January 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterOzzie

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