emily in paris


Living Abroad in France Is Often Exactly Like Emily in Paris—Except When It’s Not.

I’ll admit it: I binged Emily in Paris and liked it. yep  Emily in Paris

Yes, I am aware that the show received negative feedback. According to one critic, its representation of French culture was “simplistic,” with a “paper-thin protagohttp://lernlanguage.storenist.” Not at all.

“Understand, these are tough times, and vacuous, fluff-headed, indulgent, fanciful entertainment has its place,” added another. But Emily in Paris is anything but delightful.”


Nonetheless, I adored it. The show has a mystical quality to it. It’s brilliantly filmed, and Paris shines like a diamond in it. Most importantly, it begs the question, “What if I had the opportunity to pick up and move to France?” “How would my life be?”

I’m convinced that most people’s main attraction to the show is visualizing a life like Emily’s.

It was nostalgia for me. It reminded me of the year I spent in Bordeaux, in the southwest of France. Emily in Paris was spot on: it was precisely like my experience. And some of it was completely wrong.

If you’re considering relocating to France—or elsewhere—this show can assist. However, be careful that it is not entirely accurate. Allow me to reminisce about my year wandering down the Garonne and tell you how Emily in Paris is precisely like real life… and where it goes wrong.

Untitled design 1024x576 - EMILY IN PARIS IS REAL LIFE AND NOT
  1. You will not comprehend every cultural occasion.

Emily is continually coming into contact with the unfathomable (to her) French culture. That will also happen to you.

It will be the little details. You’ll know how to greet people (Bonjour! Ca va?) but you’ll never know if you should kiss them on the cheek, how many times, or whether you should do it every time you see them.

You’ll see that vous is the formal version of “you” while tu is the informal version… However, you’ll be continuously attempting to figure out who you should use them with. Is this individual a friend of yours? How tight is your friendship? Is it true that they are older than you? How much is it? Does it make a difference?

  1. No, most people are not rude.

Fortunately, it won’t matter if you make minor cultural gaffes since people in real life are quite forgiving—unlike the individuals Emily encounters.

Emily’s landlady, supervisor, and coworkers are all introduced as being exceedingly unpleasant, at least until Emily demonstrates that she can be useful. Even still, her supervisor remains unhappy—and often mean—during the whole series.

To be honest, if you’re a tourist in the midst of Paris, you may discover that locals are annoyed that you (and millions of other visitors) have taken over their city. Also, there appears to be a subset of Parisians who Justine

Leconte refers to as “le snob Parisian.”

However, if you go a bit outside of that particular metropolis, you’ll discover the usual, generous, extremely nice, and generally not annoyed French folks.

  1. You will find job, but not easily.

Emily is lucky to have a wonderful work at a marketing firm. You, too, may find job in France if you relocate.

However, unless your French is excellent, it will not be as straightforward as it was for Emily, and you will have fewer possibilities. If you cannot communicate in French, you will most likely be confined to teaching English.

Even so, there’s a lot of red tape that the program glosses over. It took me weeks to open a French bank account and months to obtain all of the various numbers required to operate in France. Be prepared for a large amount of difficult documentation.

  1. You will feel awkward since you will not understand people at gatherings.

Emily attends a gathering with a buddy early in the series. It appears to be a terrific time: plenty of entertaining people, nice music… Emily, on the other hand, finds it difficult to connect with others since she does not speak French.

That is completely consistent with my observations. While gatherings may (and still are) enjoyable even without a shared language, not speaking the same language as everyone else might seem alienating.

Fortunately, it will improve over time. And, without a doubt, the more social settings you put yourself in, the better it will feel.

  1. There will be no complimentary champagne at those gatherings.

Emily’s gatherings usually include complimentary champagne. It’s a wonderful concept, but it’s nothing like real life.

… unless when a friend and I were wandering the streets of Monaco and stumbled across an opening for an art gallery. We walked in, dressed beautifully. We did, however, enjoy a couple complimentary glasses of champagne.

It is still uncommon. Typically, you must bring your own wine (fortunately, it is inexpensive and yet great).

  1. You will have difficulty in stores, but people will assist you.

Emily frequently struggles to function in everyday French life in the episode. She tries to connect with a lady in a flower store in one scene in particular. A stranger who becomes her friend assists her.

My entire life in France was spent striving to converse with strangers in shops. But it always worked. Sometimes, like with Emily, another individual will assist you. Sometimes you just have a good time miming with the shopkeeper. In any case, you’ll find that you’ve acquired what you needed.

  1. You will make friends, but not quickly.

Emily rapidly makes friends with her neighbor and others. That is true: you will meet individuals and form intimate ties. However, it may take longer than you would like—or as Netflix would have you think.

It’s difficult to meet new friends in France unless you’re at university or already have some contacts there—especially with locals.

But you can do it if you put in the effort: attend meetups, join a social organization or club, or schedule time to engage with coworkers. Make an effort to build a social circle, and you will succeed.

Yes, you will be drawn to those who speak your language.
Emily meets and befriends a Chinese woman called Mindy early in the series. They relate mostly because they both speak English and share a foreigner’s viewpoint on Paris.

This is really true—making friends with other non-locals is considerably simpler.

Part of this, I believe, is due to language—it’s simply simpler to establish friends in your home tongue. But it’s also practical: locals have their own lives and friends. Other tourists do not; they are more interested in establishing new relationships and hence more receptive to it.

When I lived in Bordeaux, for example, my first companions were a Canadian lady and a woman from Northern England, both of whom worked at the same school as me. We were the only native English speakers in the school, so we had a lot in common.

  1. You won’t acquire 400 new Instagram followers every day.

Instagram is owned by Emily. She gains 400 new followers after posting a picture of herself with some roses in one instance.

Sorry, but that isn’t how it operates. All of your Instagram photographs will be well-liked by your friends, but France won’t immediately turn you into an influencer.

  1. Yes, you will receive praise for your French.

At one point, Emily’s French gets better, and a friend of hers remarks on the improvement.

This really occurs. You will become more proficient in French if you put in the effort to learn it. People will notice and congratulate you when you do this. You’ll genuinely feel pleased of yourself, just like Emily did.

If you continue to improve, they may eventually cease admiring you and start speaking to you in the same manner as everyone else. You’ll be most proud of yourself at that point.

  1. No, your customers won’t buy you intimate apparel.

In one scene, a married client of Emily’s who is simultaneously having an affair with Emily’s boss delivers lingerie to Emily as a gift. Naturally, Emily believes that this is unacceptable.

And it is unsuitable.

Any culture, especially French culture, would find it improper. It’s possible that working in France will cause some awkward cross-cultural situations. However, you won’t have to worry about clients sending you lingerie and flirting with you.

And if it does, you can be sure that your French coworkers will share your fury.

  1. Learning French “on the plane” is not a viable option.

Emily begins her work in the French marketing office by apologizing for her use of English and admitting she doesn’t speak the language. On the plane, I used Rosetta Stone, although it hasn’t yet begun to work.

Her coworkers are irritated by her lack of English as they stare at her in bewilderment. Nevertheless, despite her limited linguistic abilities, Emily is able to prove her abilities throughout the series.

In reality, things don’t operate like that.

You will need to speak French unless you come across a firm that operates in English, such as a large multinational or an English-speaking school. And it will take time; you can’t just pick it up on the flight.

The bad news is that. Good news! You can start learning French right away. While you won’t likely be able to become proficient in a month or two, you will probably be able to become communicative.

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