You know you’ve become a Parisian when…
My Parisian street map by Rosie Minikin
1. You've walked around so much that your toes have worn through the soles of three pairs of shoes. Your street maps have disintegrated. Luckily you don't really need them anymore.. 2. You and the barman at your local absinthe joint are on first name terms.3. Tourists, other year abroad students and Paris residents ask you for advice on your 'bonnes addresses'.
4. When you descend the steps into the Metro, you prepare yourself for your inevitable Hyde-like transformation into Mlle IrateImpatientCommuter: "Can't those bloody tourists just walk a bit faster, not take up the entire escalator and possibly not just STOP in the middle of the corridor???"
5. Similarly, you shun the tourists who arrive for their 3-day minibreak in Paris and equate discovering the city with eating crèpes and posing in front of the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Place de Vendome. Original.
6. When people say 'I live in [e.g. Belleville]', you reply with 'Oh I love the [20th], and so close to [Menilmontant]! [Aux Folies and Cafe Cherie] are such good places to start out.'
7. Your wardrobe has become swamped with the muted hues of beige, cream, black, burgundy, grey and tan. Anything brighter and you wrinkle your nose and say 'C'est trop', declaring it a bit too Lady Gaga.
8. Catching up on the latest Audrey Tautou flick? No subtitles, no object.
9. You drink hot drinks out of a bowl. Once having made this transition you will never look back.
10. On a soirée, the first thing new acquaintances say to you is no longer 'So you're not French?' If this sensitive matter does come up in conversation it will be a couple of hours later and this discovery will genuinely seem to blow their mind (although that may be the alcohol).
11. You're au courant with the viral fads people are gassing about at lunch, lolling away at 'Norman fait des videos' and the 'Bref' series.
12. It takes you all of 1.5 seconds to bash off a texto complete with all the appropriate shorthand: 'Tesou.. a+.. qqch.. stp.. ptt'
13. It's not unusual to bump into the poet/jazz musician from last week's slam/jam. Your favourite haunts seem to be on roughly the same circuit.
14. You cut every other word in half.. dej, aperos, prez.. and you struggle to make it through a sentence without sprinkling in some inarticulate 'Ben.. fin.. quoi.. genre.. machin et tout'. Shrugging, pouting and looking unimpressed have become your default mannerisms.
15. You can make half decent jokes, hold your own in an argument and dream in French. When home...
16. You are shocked to see people actually walk around in public in slobby UGG boots and leggings. The French would never let themselves sink to such lows...
17. English money looks wierd.
18. As does the Tube. It strikes you as very poky and TUBE-like.
19. You’ve undergone linguistic shift syndrome, whereby your default language has been rewired to French. You think it's perfectly correct to say 'Can you pick me up from the aeroport?' and 'Some days at work were more tranquil than others.' It's quicker to use the French-Spanish setting on wordreference.com than it is to use English-Spanish.
20. Pubs seem so quintessentially English.
21. Mince pies seem so quaint.
22. The idea of shopping in a supermarket seems so soulless and generally horrific.
23. Beefy, protein-chugging lads seem so oafish and uncultured against the stubble-faced, dreamy-eyed, smooth-talking Parisians who actually know how to dress themselves.
24. You can't believe that paying a fiver for undrinkeable, screw-cap wine is actually considered a good deal... J'hallucine!
25. You've forgotten about the handshake. Friends of your parents seem particularly ruffled when you launch in for the cheek kissing without a second thought. And if really extreme...
26. It follows you into your next country, where people presume by your appearance and accent that you're French.
Rosie's on her year abroad in Paris and Seville - check out her blog to find out what she's up to!