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“Sacré bleu!” That’s perhaps the tackiest thing you can say to a native Parisian. The worst thing they can ask you, though, is to explain what the word ‘tacky’ actually means… Without consulting a dictionary.

Whether you romantically view Paris as the city of love, or despair at the sight of the rotating light on the Eiffel Tower (tacky), we all have an opinion on Paris, and as expats, our opinion is likely to change the longer we live here.

So take a look at the things in Paris that are seen as tacky, but at the same time can be seen as cool.

What’s your verdict?

TACKY : Any bridge with padlocks clipped onto it. Or smitten tourists asking you to take their picture. And then another four snaps for good measure since they’re questioning whether your photography skills are up to it.
COOL :  Furious mocking of said tourists.

TACKY : Scenes of haggard office workers hurrying home with a baguette stuffed in their bag.
COOL : The baguettes! The croissants! The multiple pâtisseries! Yum!

TACKY :  A bar choc full (of tourists) on a Friday night, probably in Bastille.
COOL : An intimate bar, which seats a maximum of 12. On stools. With mood lighting. Where the bartender greets you like family, everyone knows each other, and the prices are reasonable (please send addresses to me).

TACKY : Picnics along the Seine. How many images of that have we seen on literally every blog about Paris?
COOL : Picnics along the Seine with no one else in sight. Refer to the point above about cool bars – locals don’t like having of others around them for company (only selected friends).

TACKY : Smoking.
COOL : Smoking (why do Parisians look so cool slowly killing themselves through nicotine tar alone?).

TACKY : Stepping into dog poo as you walk to the métro. Scrap that. It isn’t tacky – it’s infuriating.
COOL :  When you see a big, aggressive-looking man with a dog on a lead, that’s 5% his size. Doesn’t that always put a smile on your face (even if you are mocking him)?

TACKY : Rude waiters. Yes, the stereotype is true, but enough already, ok?
COOL : The fact that you take it in your stride, and the unsuspecting tourists allow their experience with said waiters to ruin their day.

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About Razwana Wahid 3 Articles
Razwana is an English expat, who arrived in Paris in June 2012. Since then, she’s settled into Parisian life (with coffee, wine and le croissant aux amandes), made a bunch of friends (surprise! They’re mostly French), and become fluent in the local language (ß the last one is a total lie). When not battling through the terrain of a Parisian office, she is a copywriter for small businesses, making writing increase sales and customer conversion rates. If your website needs to speak to your customers and your sales page has to sell rather than bore …. Chill the heck out - she’s got you covered. And on a final note - stalking her is totally recommended – on email, Twitter, and LinkedIn.