You get used to the waiters treating you as if they were doing you a real big favour, the bus drivers closing the doors on you after you just ran half way down the street and public officers that don't know how to do their job properly.
You live with the grey sky day in and day out, the constant drizzle from October until May, the metro strikes on Monday mornings, the taxi boycott towards the airports on Friday afternoons and the pilots' protests just in time for the holiday period.
You adapt to the garbage trucks passing beneath your bedroom window at six in the morning and the dog poop all over the sidewalks.
You learn not to take the Parisian attitude personally and how to answer back, even though it is not in your nature.
Having summed up the negative points, HOWEVER....
Where else in the world do you:
- get to admire the Eiffel Tower every morning at school drop-off
- watch hundreds of newly-weds having their official wedding picture taken feeling terribly romantic
- take part in any activity that suits your fancy, from cuisine to photography and from art to shopping
- profit from a cultural calendar extraordinarily rich in quality and diversity
- drink wine at lunchtime and everybody thinks it's normal
- enjoy shopping in as many chocolate stores as there are pharmacies
- browse in the hippest concept and pop-up stores in the world
- mingle with the celebrities infront of the entrances of fashion shows
- sign up for a street art tour or follow the traces of the French resistance, not to mention the excitement of a visit to the city's sewers
- take part in Europe's largest lady's race with 35'000 women running under the Eiffel Tower
- savour a Flamenco guitar recital in a cultural centre one day and participate in a world class rock concert in a huge football stadium the next
- follow the president's menage à trois when he never married in the first place and all the beans are spilled in a book
So there, it is not all that bad, life in Paris. You just need to understand what works best for you and your family. Paris does not offer conviviality but it is brimming with diversity.
I am now off for a run through the Bois de Boulogne...