The next part of our European tour wasn’t really scheduled as a tour event. We had a few days in Paris from the middle of the 8th to the morning of the 11th to rest a bit and prepare for the next events in Warsaw and Amsterdam. We didn’t have any events planned in Paris, unfortunately. This was just a bit of down time for us.

We didn’t have a big list of things we wanted to do. We didn’t climb the Eiffel Tower and we didn’t go to all the museums. We’re not really touristy kinda people in that way. We’d rather eat all yr foods than see all yr sites. So, we walked around a lot and were just goofy and playful. And we ate a lot. A lot. We can see it in our faces. Our diets have gone totally out the window for this Europe trip. First thing we did when we got back to Korea was exercise like crazy. Ha!

Back to Paris: we wanted to spend more time just relaxing, you know? Sitting at restaurant here, a coffee shop there, and just people watching. That’s what most of the places are built for, anyways: the chairs outside don’t point at each other, so you can look in each other’s eyes lovingly. They’re pointed out to the streets, so you can watch the world, together. Some of the busier restaurants have so many outward pointing chairs with so many people sitting in them it looks like someone cut out a row at the bleachers in a football game. It was lovely!

Sadly, though, I’m not sure if we came to Paris at a bad time. Was there an election or something? Did something serious happen in the news around that time? It seemed like everywhere we went, except for a few places, people were generally grumpy or sad looking. There was a lot of scowling rather than smiling. We’d walk into stores and the people working there would sit with their arms folded, wouldn’t ask anything, and would just stare off at something grumpily. We went into restaurants and used all of the French we learned in elementary school in Canada (not the French I butchered jokingly in the video), and we were able to order wholly in French, but the servers were…pissy? They’d take our orders with a sigh and give us our food without a word. Not a “merci” or “bon appetit” or anything. Not even a smile. This wasn’t true for EVERYBODY, mind you. The place where we got the mulled wine in the pictures below was lovely. LOVELY. The server there was fun and bubbly and had a great personality. He laughed with us and asked questions, but he was the exception rather than the rule. At the pasty restaurant we went to with the macaroons below, we ordered 4 macaroons and picked out four different flavors, which the waiter wrote down on paper. When we got the macaroons a few minutes later, three out of the four macaroons were wrong. When we told the waitress afterwards, she grumpily said “well, what do you want me to do about it?” Nothing. We didn’t want anything. We just wanted to pay and leave, and never come back to that restaurant.

Now, I’m not writing this to say that all of Paris is like this, and that everyone’s an asshole. That’s definitely not fair for us to say. We just might have come to Paris at a bad time, or maybe we just went to the wrong places, or maybe our pronunciation was terrible. We just didn’t feel as warm and invited there as we did in Norway, Sweden, Amsterdam, and Poland, where most everyone we met was smiling and caring. In Korea, if we say something in Korean, Korean people are mostly smiling and happy. They let us know how good our Korean is, and they’re amazed that we speak it. In Paris, not a peep. Our pronunciation was off, and it looked like we offended them for not speaking French fluently.

We did meet a few French Nasties in the streets who were delightful and happy and friendly and lovely. And smiling. Smiling! WHERE ARE THE REST OF YOUR PEOPLE HIDING? Do you live in a different part of Paris? The happier part? TELL MEEEEEEEEEE!

The city itself was gorgeous, and the food that we got ourselves, rather than from restaurants, was lovely! Oh man: being able to walk out of your place and head down the street to get a fresh loaf of bread in the bakery, a nice, cheap bottle of wine at the winery, a wide assortment of goat cheeses at the cheesery, a lot of deli meats and pates at the meatery, was just amazing. Korea doesn’t really have that. Paris Baguette here is nothing like Paris. The breads here are not good. The cheese scene here in Korea is growing, but still rather non-existent and exorbitantly overpriced. The luxury of being able to get all of this, just down the street, at reasonable prices was definitely our favorite part of our vacation.

Anyhow, that’s it for this post. We’ve got a lot of pictures from our stay as well, which you can see here below. We’re working on the Warsaw and Amsterdam videos today, and hope to get them up ASAP before Music Monday! Yay! Make sure you don’t miss out on any of our videos by clicking on the button here. Every click you make contributes to the Korean cheese fund, and will bring cheeses to this country at a cheaper price. DO IT FOR THE SAKE OF HUMANITY!

And now for pics:

  1. As an American married to a Frenchman, who has lived and worked in Paris, you are not wrong. The Parisians are like that every day. Grumpy, angry, and often sour, even before you open your mouth to say anything. To say that they are pissy is actually putting it kindly. To say that Paris is my least favorite city in the world is a complete understatement. The good thing about crappy Paris and asshole Parisians is that it makes all of the other cities in France look like blooming bastions of friendliness. I swear.

  2. Would you guys care if I used your pictures as paintings (school project)?

  3. Whoa…. the pictures are pretty but I could just read the sadness in your descriptions…


  4. ^^ It looks you had a lot of fun in Paris and ate a lot of delicious pastries!! French pastries are definitely the best *proud French girl* kekeke
    As for Parisian and especially Paris waiters/waitresses, it depends!! Few months ago, I went to Paris near the Sacré Coeur to have a cup of coffee and the waiter was a jerk but a week ago, I went to Paris again in Le Marais and the two waiters were so nice and charming! I think the fact that you didn’t speak a perfect French wasn’t the problem! Some people are just disagreeable!
    I would have loved to meet you but I don’t live in Paris ==’ Come back again soon!

  5. Well i think in Paris the service is often quit “grumpy”, of course there are exceptions but well. In France the political situation is also quite “strained”. The president has 20% of popularity and extreme parties are gaining in popularity while the economical situation is really bad so the mood here is not so good. It’s such a shame that your memories in Paris weren’t as quite good as in the other countries. The french society also tends to be SO judgemental in comparison to the english and german for example.
    But hey come to the “campagne française ” or in the other cities where people are much friendlier:)

  6. Haha..just as Martina was saying how you found all the puppies, my daughter walked by and squealed, “oooo…puppies” and started watching the video with me.

  7. There are studies showing that the French are the least happy and optimistic people. It’s not about living in France, since French living abroad are less happy than other people living in the same country, and foreigners living in France happier than French living in France. It’s just the curse of being French! Then I don’t know whether we’re unfriendly because we’re unhappy, or unhappy because we’re unfriendly… Probably a bit of both!

  8. Simon and Martina, you do know that I watch your videos with my whole family, right.

    And then you go close up on the statue’s p*nis.


  9. As a french person living in Canada, I totally understand your feelings. I lived in France for 14 years, was born there, and I never felt welcomed, even if it was my own country!

    When I moved to Canada, I was terrified. I spent so much time making friends in my life, and I had to start again from scratch! And then, I discovered the truth: Canada is AWESOME. And I don’t want to live in France ever again.

    But a lot of my friends agree that yes, France is not the most welcoming country, but Paris is definitely the worst when it comes to grumpy looking people and bad customer service (And said friends live there!). Most of french humorists make fun of that aspect of Paris a lot in their shows. This is the face of the city you’ll never see in documentaries.

    I hope you still enjoyed your stay though!

  10. What kind of camera do you use to take regular pictures?!?! The photos are so beautiful!

  11. Paris is one of my favourite cities…
    I went to Angelina once and had really shit service as well… I think they figure since they’re so famous world-wide they don’t have to be nice to tourists… :|
    If you guys ever go back, I can’t recommend climbing up Notre Dame enough. It’s touristy, but sometimes there’s no line, and the view from up there is absolutely breath taking. It’s really moving, when I went up I burst into tears.
    So happy your videos are back, I missed you guys a lot!

  12. Sadly, Paris is not the best place to go to for cheerfulness… I’m not saying all parisians are sad unhappy people, but compared to other parts of France, people in Paris seems stressed, agressive and pissy at times. The French hospitality still has a LONG way to go to be able to be as friendly as the Norwegians, although sometimes Norway lack a little bit of French manners. ^^

  13. You guys are KILLING ME with those photos from the pastry shop! Pastries are one of my weaknesses (especially French pastries). I got really excited when I saw the macarons and the chocolate eclair. I was this close to licking the screen (not really. Or was I?)

  14. Paris is deeeeefinitely hit or miss. The first time I went it was awful. Hated it. Went back again this summer and it was wonderful. I think part of it was because I knew what to expect, and after having lived in France briefly I was able to get into “French mode,” which really lessens the culture shock. Some people can be really uppity with the language, but you can’t take it personally (as impossible as it seems, trust me I know it’s hard). If you have a chance I hope you’re able to go back! Paris is kind of its own entity within France, and if you’re able to visit a smaller city you might see a totally different side of the country :) I’ve also heard the south tends to be friendlier, so maybe everyone in the north is getting grumpy that winter is coming? In any case, I’m sorry your experience wasn’t that enjoyable, but I really hope you’re able to replace it with better memories in the future :)

  15. I don’t know if the whole same-sex marriage debate is still going on over there but lots of protests and the like were happening a few months ago. Back when I went to Paris in 2008, if you spoke English, they weren’t very friendly. But if you spoke Spanish (like my family does), they would treat you beautifully. I took French for a few years and since I speak another Romantic language (i.e. Spanish), I have a fairly good French accent when I speak it. So much so that I asked a question at a restaurant and then had to apologize in English that I only knew a little tiny bit of French when he started responding so quickly to me in French. Also, back in 2008, there was a parade and then a protest walking right past our hotel every few days. So….like someone else said, hit or miss.

  16. Paris is Paris, it’s always like that (people are grumpy, the servers are unwelcoming) but next time comeIn the South it’s SO great!!!!

  17. gorgeous pictures guys!! :D at least you got that even though u had 2 deal with grouchy/depressed ppl :(

  18. I can assure you that you didn’t come to Paris at the wrong time. We just suck at welcoming people, specially non-French speaking ones since most French people don’t speak a word of English. What was going on in most of their heads was probably something like this: “Holly shit, what do I do freaking tell ‘em? What did that dude say?”. This is not due to an non-tolerance of anglophone people, we are just clumsy at this.
    However, I don’t have any excuse for the servers. The Parisian servers are known throughout France for being the rudest and grumpiest beings to have walked on the surface of Earth. They don’t make any special treatment to anyone and are that way with everyone.
    As for the stores, the workers there are not supposed to ‘bother’ you until you ask for help. That’s just the way the service works, and most French people are content with that.
    Overall, Paris is known to be snobbish, and a lot of the bad treatment could have come from people suffering delusions of grandeur.
    Anyways, I’m sorry that your stay sucked due to a bunch of annoyingly rude people.

  19. I’m in my little bubble of Koreatown Los Angeles and my regular (korean) grocery store has horrible cheese and meh bread. They have all the wonderful korean foods, but I have found myself not eating bread and cheese like I used to.

    About once every 2-3 months I venture a few miles out and empty my bank account on ALL THE CHEESES AND STUFFS TO PUT CHEESE ON and BREAD.

    I need to make a trip soon.

  20. I’ve been to Paris for 10 days with my family back in 2008, Summer. I can’t say anything about ppl there bcz I simply didn’t pay attention, I was too busy taking pictures and sightseeing ;P
    But even with this little experience I noticed the Parisian’s French sounds “ruder” then French of Riviera. I’ve been visiting Nice almost every Summer for 13(?) years since I was 4. So Nice is a truly dear place to me and French there sounds like singing and it’s always a “bright” sound (I speak no French whatsoever, that’s just how I hear it)
    But as much as I love France, I must say French ppl are rasist/do not like foreigners… and they generally don’t speak English either. Not saying every French is like that, it’s just a common partern I’ve came across.

  21. I’ve had the same experience. I thought it was just cultural differences that’s why I felt very unwelcome when I visited Paris a couple of years ago. I thought it was just because I didn’t speak French that people in Paris wouldn’t give me the time of day. If I got lost, I was on my own to figure things out. I thought it was just language barrier that kept me from interacting with people.

    But then I went to Tokyo this summer, and I felt very welcome. Japanese people went all their way out to help me. I was trying to figure out my direction, and they did their very best to help me even though they spoke Japanese, and I didn’t understand a thing. They mostly just did hand gestures and maps to help me while still speaking in Japanese. Also, they would feel really bad when they couldn’t help me. You could see it on their faces and gestures how bad they felt for not being able to help you.

    I’m not saying that people in Paris are generally like that since each person is different, acts differently, and thinks differently, but that’s just my experience when I went to Paris. I’m not really the kind of person who travels to a lot of places. So I was really shocked when I went to Tokyo, and I was treated differently. That language didn’t really matter when I tried to talk to people. It gave me hope that I wouldn’t be that doomed if I ever visit a place again where English is not the dominant language.

  22. can’t wait for your video on poland!!!
    i actually was in Warsha on the same day that you did!! (;-;) but because i was on poland as part of a trip from school ( about the holocaust ><" we came all the way from israel!!) i didn't get the chance to meet you guys ;-; (soooo not fair)

  23. I think your issues with people in Paris can be chalked up to it just being Paris. I’m from Quebec; I went to school in French from Kindergarten all the way to my M.A.; I speak the language fluently (or at least I like to think lol) – and I STILL get the evil eye from waiters and shop clerks whenever I go to Paris!

    Outside of Paris the French are really nice, and even the Parisians can be really personable once you get to know them, as you found. It’s just towards strangers, they are certainly much more “porcupinish” than might be the case elsewhere.


  25. From the people I know who have lived in France from 1 year to several years, they say that Parisians are meaner or ruder than the rest of the country. The same way they say people from NYC are mean or rude (I live in NYC). I think when you see so much you just became jaded. Sometime it comes off as rude, but your soul is just tired or worn-down.

    “Our pronunciation was off, and it looked like we offended them for not speaking French fluently.” I think it is true, based on what I’ve been told about Parisians. Also they might have thought you guys were from the States and not Canada. I think Americans tend to be disliked in France (as well as other countries).

    I was told that there is a culture difference once you start moving South in France. The people in the South of France are much warmer, nicer, and they live their lives at a slower pace than the north.

    Despite all that, I still want to visit Paris. It is on my bucket list. I’ve always thought the city was amazing and the French language is beautiful. I’m happy and jealous that you guys got to visit Paris. I watched a film called “Francis Ha” and in it, she just up and went to France for like two days. I’ve always thought if you go someone where far you have to stay for a least a week, but now 3 day vacations are starting to make sense to me. I’m starting to ramble. I’m glad you guys had fun and had time to free your mind, but I’m also glad you guys are back. Thank you for sharing your non-tour trip with us. :-)

  26. I think it’s the culture. My french class last year had a discussion about this sort of thing. I’m American by the way, so I’m no expert, but this is what my teacher said. The french aren’t as friendly to strangers, and they tend to have fewer friends, but the friends they have are very close. For example, in America, if a friend asked you to do something, you might say no if it’s inconvenient for you, but the french will go to great lengths for their friends. At the same time, people might not smile on the streets as much and seem less friendly. The french will also get into very heated discussions with each other and still definitely remain friends, while in America some might worry it’s the end of the friendship. They customarily have closer, smaller circle of friends, and aren’t looking to be friendly with everyone they see.

    Of course, that’s just what I learned :P Maybe someone can let me know if this is all true?

    • I find this to be true, I’m American too, but I’ve spent a lot of time in France with French people and I love the way they are. They don’t pretend to be too friendly and then really don’t give a damn about you. They are more reserved and when they like you, you are part of the family. A French friend is a true friend.

    • I’m French and I would agree! We don’t “act” friendly when we don’t mean it. It doesn’t necessarily translate by everybody being grumpy all the time, that’s rather typical from Paris and somewhat Lyon, but people won’t jump at you asking how you’re doing, like in other countries! That’s why we can easily be deceived by people’s friendly attitude when we’re abroad… For instance, I worked along with an American guy during an internship, and he was over-friendly and enthusiastic with me all the time, and when I left he sent an e-mail to my boss saying that I was useless… That’s just an example but I heard several stories of such cultural shocks!

  27. I’ve never been to Europe even, but two of my friends who did. They said it was nice, but you’ve to tried to speak French with them, if you don’t, they just don’t want to service or talk to you.
    I of course want to visit there in the really really long run when I want to actually learn a bit of French which will be a while. *first stop: Korea*

    Don’t worry, at least you’ve a good time and see pretty people and places :) Did you go see the Market ??

  28. Thanks for the video marathon!!! We missed you guys!!! Hope you’re recovering from the jet-lag… Please do a recap video of the bingo game! That’s an amazing idea there Martina!

  29. French people are famous for being rude and grumpy, I was in France twice and noticed the same thing…
    I’m not going there again… Thumbs down all you want, but its my personal experience.

  30. Meemers was on French TV today !

  31. Ah I’m so sorry you had a bad experience with French people, but to be honest I don’t find it that surprising. I remember people were so much more welcoming and friendly when I was in the UK, and I miss that now that I’m back in France. And as a general rule, I do find French people sad and grumpy, I’m not sure where it comes from.. Ah now I sound like a bitter French girl myself^^ Fortunately there are a lot of amazing people too!
    And I’m amazed you didn’t have any troubles with strikes, since there seemed to be a couple going on when you were Paris. That would have been the ultimate French experience :D

    • Ooh and now that I watched you photographs, I realised you mostly hit the touristy neighbourghoods, which might be why people were that grumpy as well. If you ever come back you should definitely check Montmartre and the Sacré-Coeur, it has a different vibe I think? (That being said, this is touristy as well, and I didn’t even spend that much time in Paris. But my most beautiful memories of the city are in this area, at night fall^^)

  32. I’ve walked in the same places where you were! That’s so neat. Paris is my favorite European city. Hope you had a wonderful and romantic time.

  33. I’ve never been to Paris but my husband says he never wants to visit Paris again because of such a bad experience. O.o I don’t know, I think he should try at least one more time. I guess some get offended if you don’t speak perfect French? I don’t know why though. I’ve been too Lille though and people there were nice. ^^ And, Martina, can you tell me your secret packing skilz? Cause like, I can only fit in one more extra pair of shoes if I’m traveling in the winter time with all of the bulky coats, sweaters and what not. And I know you guys had to take back a lot of fanmail and fanart too so please, share the secrets!! hehe.

  34. So sad you didn’t have a fan event :|
    About people looking grumpy and sad, I have to say that it’s kind of a characteristic of Parisians. They are also known for complaining a lot. And I’m saying this as a French girl coming from a small town in the east of the country, and a new inhabitant of Paris’ area. But of course, there are exceptions! ^v^

  35. Aaa, I really missed your videoes! So much lols!

  36. I’m French and I’m ashamed now >w<

  37. I’ve been to Paris twice, and I get what you mean. I think the biggest thing you have to make sure you do is say you’re Canadian. Or use those little temporary tattoos with flags on them and put them on your face. Or wear a Canadian pin. That whole ‘the French hating on America’ thing is super real. Both times I went it was with my school, and they treated us rather indifferently at first. The moment they found out that we were Canadian, I found them to be on the whole a lot more pleasant and accommodating. Thanks for uploading these when I’m sure all you wanna do is curl up in a snuggle ball with Meemers and Spudgy and sleep for 100 yeas.

  38. Sadly though you’re right. A lof of the servers in Paris aren’t especially friendly with foreigner tourists. Anyway i hope you still enjoy you trip.
    I laughed so hard during all the video. Especially for the couple making out. So funny !!!

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