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Top Ten Things I hate about Paris


Not that I love you any the less for it, but nobody’s perfect, not even Paris:

1. Professional beggars using kids,dogs or cats as props.

2. Pollution – even though Paris’s mayor, Bertrand Delanoe is doing his best to combat pollution, that thin layer of soot finds its way into every Paris apartment (especially on the Left Bank!)

3. CDG airport – Charles de Gaulle airport is not alone in the category of top airports that need serious rethinking – and revamping- I’ll look forward to the day when the circular seventies-style Terminal 1 is completely redesigned. It was great for its day, but now it’s obsolete.

4. Mexican restaurants. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE Mexican food, but not in Paris. International food is great in Paris – when the food is authentic, prepared by immigrants who’ve made France their home, but many ‘Mexican’ restaurants here are transient and rarely authentic.

5. Transportation strikes. Yes, I understand the premise of strikes – it’s the only way sometimes to bring people to the bargaining table, but I still don’t have to like them.

6. Graffitti i.e tagging.

7. Le Peripherique: Paris’s beltway autoroute that circles the city. Getting stuck in traffic on the ‘periph’ especially around Porte de Versailles is no picnic, but imagine how much worse Paris would be without a peripherique.

8. Pickpockets. Compared to many world capitals, you have much less chance of being pickpocketed in Paris, but they’re here.

9. Getting shortchanged. Don’t feel alone. Even the Parisians get shortchanged.

10. Having to say Goodbye. No matter what day-to-day gripes Paris residents may have, it’s always sad to say goodbye to Paris and always a thrill to come back home.