Emily in Paris shows a really unrealistic yet addictive series when it was first released in 2020, it was everywhere! It was a big hit and started to be the talked of the town. People starting to glamorize to live like Emily! To be famous when you just flew to another country. To have cool new friends like Mindy and Camille, and having an affair to the guy that lives downstairs and who actually cooks. Discredit the reality that actually occurs when you’re in Emily’s shoes.
I lived in France for a year when I was 22, stayed there for a year, studied International Business in Toulouse and landed an internship in Clermont Ferrand. Therefore, after I binged watching the show, I can relate to her a little bit, to be the “Emily” figure in a new country when I could speak French just a little bit. Hence, for those who are wondering how accurate the shows are I would like to break down the stereotypes based on my experience!
Parisian doesn’t like to speak English
Remember when Emily’s colleague, Luc, saw her at the café and have a short chat with Emily?
Luc: Ah, you came to Paris, and you don’t speak French — that is arrogant.
Emily: More ignorant than arrogant.
Luc: Let’s call it the arrogance of ignorance.
Then it hits me! Well yeah when I was doing my internship I always try to use French and ending up using English, but always with French first! Otherwise, the colleagues would see us as an arrogant foreigner, because not everyone have the ability to speak in English. What I feel when I see Emily did there was “that wasn’t right” and super cliché, her colleagues probably would not mind her whenever she talks in English.
However, the French will be more than happy if we try to use French as the door to open the conversation such as “Excusez-moi monsieur/madame, je suis desole mais vous parlez anglais? and later on if they said “Oui” then we can continue the conversation in English.
An overrated show
Based on the show solely Paris make you want to flew to another contingent. Did you realize that in the show it never show the reality of taking public transportation in Paris? Whenever Emily go somewhere they never shoot that scene, because honestly taking public transportation in Paris is one of the nightmare I’ve ever had!
Paris has one of the world’s largest metro stations, Châtelet–Les Halles, it was very vast and one I could never imagine to be lost there, it would be even harder when you’re a foreigner and speaking non-sense asking which way to go to the public officer. Remember, French people doesn’t like to speak English! So prepare yourself the basic one if you’re traveling there.
Also one more thing that you should be aware if you’re an Asian tourist, remember that when you just stepped into the metro, a lot of pickpockets have been eye following you. These happened because of the “stereotype” that Asian tourist are very loaded. Even your surrounding know that these pickpockets trying to steal your stuff they won’t even tell. I’m telling you it’s only you who can defend yourself.
Then what’s good about Paris then?
1. The beautiful landscape in every inch of it, you could just literally take photo in a Bronx area and it still screams Paris.
2. The boulangerie! It is common to have boulangerie every 500 m and don’t worry whichever store you go, it never fails, it always smells good and tastes good as well.
3. Museums! So many museums that you could explore and if you’re a student you’ll get a free pass.
Hence, even what Emily portrayed in the series were sometimes heavily exaggerated it was actually a really good show during the quarantine and people from all ages watched the show to see the beautiful landscape of Paris.
Even so if you go abroad to study or just travel try to research the country’s culture, mannerisms, and taboos. Because you can’t do what you please in a new continent you barely know. Remember the saying:
When in Rome, do as the Romans do