#1927 The facts of life – how to make friends in Paris edition

b Store Loves Liberty. Photo: Style Salvage

1. It’s hard to make friends with Europeans! Since I’ve been in Paris, I’ve pretty much only hung out with New Zealanders and Australians. Somebody explain to me the process of becoming BFFs with the French because I am failing no matter how hard I try. (Therein may lie the problem – screaming “LET’S BE BEST FRIENDS!!!!” the first time you meet somebody might be a little off-putting.)

2. Continuing on from that last point, I now understand why Kiwis and Australians congregate in London – nobody else seems to understand our unique senses of humour.

3. When I was living in Canada back in 2006, I worked at this burrito restaurant named Burrito Boyz (holla!) and when vegetarians would come in, I’d yell their – hilariously altered – orders to the chef. For example: “One tofu burrito, extra steak please!” They would literally lose their minds and I’d have to spend the next three to four minutes explaining that I was joking. Trust me, I felt like David Brent. And not in that good way.

4. One way in which the French trump us Antipodeans is in their drinking culture. My flatmates threw a party in the weekend and about 35 French 20-somethings turned up. Despite staying until about 4:00am, nobody spewed, beat each other up or broke a single glass. It was a truly surreal experience.

5. My favourite French phrase this week: “Laisse-moi devenir l’ombre de ton ombre, l’ombre de ta main, l’ombre de ton chien.” Translation: Let me be the shadow of your shadow, the shadow of your hand, the shadow of your dog.

6. On a non-French topic, despite an obsession with navy Chuck Taylors, beige pants and sweaters, I don’t have an addictive personality. That said, I use more Burt’s Bees than anybody on the planet. Last week I started freaking out because I was getting down to the dregs of my final tube. Thankfully the good folk at Goode PR came to my rescue and sent me enough to keep me going until I come back home. The package arrived yesterday. I am now happy.

7. I need a Paris-based photographer for upcoming projects (plus general outfit posts and the like). Keen? Email me: isaac@isaaclikes.com


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  1. Lexie Brown says

    You should totally learn French, and then you can at least scream “LETS BE BEST FRIENDS!!!” in French! No but really, can you speak French? Or are you learning?

  2. A says

    I knew a guy who went to Paris for a month and made a group of close French buddies. I’m guessing it was because he always had a ‘cool’ composure (the I’m-not-trying-to-be-your-BFF) but at the same time talked to them and let his personality show. They seem to be alike as well – in terms of being ‘cool’, mischevious and polite. 
    Maybe you just weren’t talking to people who you would naturallly be friends with in New Zealand at the time? Wonder if this is any help.

  3. freena says

    #4 “It was the truly a surreal experience.”

    Le typo? My French is really rusty, but you get what I mean.

    I love vegetarian steak.

  4. Ramesh says

    Actually, I experience the opposite. As an Asian who’s lived in NZ, currently Auckland, since primary school days, I found white British/Western Europeans were far more likely to invite me into their social circles than white NZers. I’d chat to concert goers in London, Paris, Berlin about music, art, literature, and when they realised I had a similar cultural knowledge base, they invited me out no questions asked. The critical aspect is to demonstrate a cultural similarity and connection, plus a willingness to engage. On the other hand, I’ve lived in Remuera for the past 15 years and despite speaking English fluently, only one white Remueran has invited me over for dinner during this time. So it’s actually, in my experience, that NZ whites tend to be far more culturally defensive and parochial than metropolitan Western Europeans. 

  5. says

    I could be your photographer. As you may be aware I have a lot of free time on my hands now. Could chalk up a flight to Paris as a business expense.
    There is one problem, I only know how to take clear photos, I know your last photographer specialised in blurry….

  6. isaaclikes says

    Done deal.

    p.s. to achieve the blurry look, just try to shake a little while you’re taking the picture.

  7. Bec says

    Having grown up in Remuera, I think this might be more to do with Remuera-ites, rather than New Zealanders in general. 

  8. AgonyAuntArthur says

    I’ve found the same inability to really connect with Central Aucklanders and Parisians, but I think they love it that way.

    Here’s a path you may (not) want to take http://jezebel.com/5691871/american-guy-in-paris-freed-from-the-idea-of-consent (since being published it’s been blasted… then DSK put a final nail in it..) What do you think Isaac, is this angle a tad dated? It seems it was/is the norm for most ‘credible’ public figures…

  9. Arum Padma OtakBolong says

    I guess Aiden Andrews and Adrien Sahores are best friends? lol. And I really think Brit jokes are the best

  10. Bolioboli says

    I guess Aiden Andrews and Adrian Sahores are best friends? lol. And I really think Brit jokes are the best.

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