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"Live like a local" in Paris only?

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"Live like a local" in Paris only?

It funny,, i read this forum,, and several others,, about Paris , but also about other destinations,, and one thing I notice alot of in posts about Paris that I do not notice much,, if at some destination forums other then Paris,, is this burning need to "live like a local" .. My position is that its impossible to really live like a local,, unless you actually , live, work , go to school, pay taxes etc.. as a local,, that even renting an apartment and making your own dinner is not "living like a local". Hey we ski holiday every year, we rent a chalet,, we cook,, I still would never consider that "living like a local" ( hey I don't have to shovel the snow now do I ,, lol )

Why do people often post about "living like a local" in Paris,, but never in Hawaii, or Australia , or Cayman Islands,, etc.. is it some sort of "run away and live in a garret in Paris like the starving artists did in the day" fantasy,, or what,, I just do not get it,, but I do see a definate preference to do so in Paris more then most places,, what hold does Paris have on our psyhces ( sorry sp) that makes us( well some of you, not me, lol) want to shop, cook , clean etc on holiday.. ??

( ps ,, this does not apply to families with youngsters who just end up renting an apartment and cooking cause its easier for kids,, those people are usually trying to save money and sanity ,, not live like a local)

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1. Re: "Live like a local" in Paris only?

Crops up for London too, it's not just Paris

Though why anyone would really have a fantasy about earning little money, working some of the longest hours in Europe, paying expensive prices, and rushing around on the tube and bus to get to work each day, is a mystery to me!!

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2. Re: "Live like a local" in Paris only?

Essex, that's amusing to me. I live in Paris and fantasize about living in London. But I always come to my senses.

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3. Re: "Live like a local" in Paris only?

Joan,

Interesting post, particularly because Paris never ranks as high as people would think as far as "quality of life" (as defined by Mercer).

mercer.com/qualityoflivingpr#city-rankings

French people also rank low when surveyed about happiness.

Books and movies have always made living in Paris seem so charming...even if you're a starving artist.

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4. Re: "Live like a local" in Paris only?

I think that I lot of people mean "I want to live in Paris like the people with perfect lives in some of the movies that I saw about Paris."

Sometimes, I would like to live like that, too -- my apartment would already be about six times bigger, not to mention always perfectly clean and uncluttered.

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5. Re: "Live like a local" in Paris only?

I've never really understood the concept of "living like a local" either. I agree that it is mentioned quite frequently on the Paris forum.

I always prefer to stay in an apartment - even when I'm not travelling with my children but I still consider myself a tourist.

Coming from Australia we typically spend at least 5 or 6 weeks or even longer in Europe. With that sort of time frame I can't possibly be on the go all day and I do need some down time in our apartment. I find it incredibly difficult to stay for any length of time in a tiny room with just a bed so hotel rooms are not an option.

My husband loves to cook and wandering about the markets choosing something to cook for dinner is his idea of a wonderful holiday.

The trade off for the delicious meals he cooks me is that I get to do the dishes and tidy the kitchen. We still go out to restaurants as well so it's only every couple of days anyway.

It's worth it to me.

Edited: 5:38 am, November 30, 2011
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6. Re: "Live like a local" in Paris only?

K2, You mean you don't have a Parisian fairy that cleans your apartment while you're sleeping and makes hot croissants and cafe au lait for your breakfast?

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7. Re: "Live like a local" in Paris only?

The concept of live like a local was invented by Rick Steves. I love his books and TV show. I think living like a local is great but at the same time, living like a tourist is great too.

I'm sure their are Parisians who enjoy the things that tourists do as long as the lines are not too long. For example, I've met New Yorkers who enjoy eating at the tourist restaurants in Times Square. I remember when I was walking near the Eiffel Tower, two local old ladies who only spoke in French and no English smiled at me and smiled at the Eiffel Tower and tried to point out to me that the Tower sparkles every hour with the lights. They knew I was a tourist because I had a camera in my hand. It seemed like they were proud of the Eiffel Tower and they liked it too.

I also believe many French people enjoy being a tourist because I've seen them in the U.S.A. as tourists and they seem to be having a good time.

By the way, did you know that Johnny Hallyday enjoys living like a local when he visits his second home in California? He rides a Harley Davidson motor cycle which is one of the American ways of some people.

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Victoria, Canada
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8. Re: "Live like a local" in Paris only?

mm, a few posts have also led me to the " they were locals because they spoke french" thing too.. Just like the monuments of Washington D.C ,, many of the tourists are tourists ,,even if they speak the language,, since a family visiting from Montana is on holiday and enjoying the sites of their capital,, all french speakers in Paris are not locals either,, but from outside Paris and are there sightseeing at THEIR capital..

And Harley,, yes , with 6 or 7 weeks ,, cooking and apartments do make sense, thats too long for a hotel for most of us( although I would be willing to try, lol ), Lucky you getting such nice long visits.

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9. Re: "Live like a local" in Paris only?

One should never forget that the majority of tourists in Paris are people from other parts of France. Since my daily travels on the metro take me through 3 major train stations (Paris-Nord, Paris-Est and St. Lazare), it can be amusing every single day to see new 'provincials' taking the metro for the very first time and both marveling at it and being frightened of it (the "we'll never be able to get out the door before it closes!" panic that all tourists seem to have).

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10. Re: "Live like a local" in Paris only?

I've wondered about that too. I suppose they mean living like you're actually living there permanently and not for a few days. Montreal forum gets posts from folks looking to stay in a flat and to experience the city as if living there, not visiting...

But I enjoy the feeling of freedom and newness, and want to be reminded that I'm on a holiday. Try to find hotels we will like (even if simple ones) and always feel like it's a treat, always, because for years my holidays were about staying with relatives, at someone's flat, in a room, etc.