Shay just returned from a three-week stay in Paris, France. She brought back photos, video footage and great stories from Paris for the San Franciscan.
Paris can be an obsession. Some Californians, especially Bay Areans, are called back to Paris year after year by a silent calling that draws one back to this unique, beautiful city. There is no more romantic a place on earth than Paris, but what is really interesting is the obvious difference between the California culture and the Parisian culture. When living in Paris, even for a short time, one realizes the lifestyle differences between San Francisco and Paris. Does lifestyle affect our relationships? Of course it must.
I like to take a humorous approach to pointing out our differences. For example, if most San Francisco couples lived in the postage-stamp sized apartments typical in Paris, we'd lose our minds. Typically, middle-class Californians begin their relationship in an apartment, but as the family grows, they move to larger diggs in the suburbs. In Paris, there is no such thing as the "burbs." Parisians, who work in Paris, live in Paris and the choices in abodes are slim. However, a large percentage of apartments are owned by the dwellers; something not so common in San Franciso among the middle-class.
Parisians, don't expect much in the way of apartment or the amenities inside the apartment that Californians would take for granted. They are not conspicuous consumers as we most definitely are. Closets are tiny in their apartments; we are talking really tiny. Why? Because the French don't buy tons of clothing; they prefer quality to quantity.
Then there is the question of the European appliances. They use a machine that washes and dries clothes all in the same machine. Sound like a good idea? Not so much. I've never personally understood this contraption nor have I gotten it to wash and dry my clothes without either frying or not drying the clothing at all. The first video I've posted here will give you a look at this goofy wash/dry machine. Take a look: