The Parisians have a very Parisian way of asking whether you’re in town or not. “Tu es Parisien(ne)?”
But being Parisienne takes a little more than being physically present. It takes a pair of brogues, skinny jeans, cashmere by Bompard, an old Hermes scarf that belonged to your grandmother and a classic manicure. It also takes a cigarette, an espresso and a pocket edition of any 19th Century writer or the latest Goncourt winner. And not to forget, a family house at the countryside.
Then of course it takes the right pronunciation on at least four beautiful words (one negative, one positive, one agreeing, one disapproving), a good dose of cultural heritage, a few good manners and that French air of self-confidence. That “air” is quite intriguing. Parisians (male and female) seem to be the living prove of the old cliche that playing hard to get actually works. Think about it: Nobody likes Parisians but everybody loves Paris and is in one way or another intrigued by its inhabitants. Everybody complains about French waiters but everybody loves the French bistro.
So we adopted the brogues and that air of self confidence along with the other habits that aren’t the worse to get used to. As for the rest (cheque books / slimy escargots / French omnipotence) we’re still working on it.
Sophie & Lavinia