[Podcast] Fun Culture of Paris - Pocket Chocolate, Onion Mush, Movies & Bun-to-Bottom Burger Eating


This episode is heavy on wining and dining my way through Paris and the importance of connections. 

Paris has a fun and interesting culture to it and here I cover some of the more fun aspects of this culture as I experienced it through my many visits there and my Parisian girlfriend.

Make sure to watch the previous episode so you are all caught up with where I am in the travel adventure!

Sorry about the speed of this episode - I got a little excited and talked really quickly and couldn't figure out how to slow it down afterward without the recording sounding like a robot. Next episode, I will have some rum before I record it and that should help slow the story down, I hope ;P

If you didn't understand anything that I said, please comment below and ask me anything!


Hello. Hello and welcome to this episode of no fairy tale travels, where I'm going to talk to you about some of the more interesting aspects of Parisian culture and what it's like to date a girl from Paris. And this episode does follow a little bit the last episode. So if you haven't seen that, go ahead and watch that and then come back here. And if you have any questions, comments, or thoughts, go to no fairy tale travels dot sub stack.com and leave a message there on the post for this video. And let's get now to my favorite aspect of per region culture. So at the end of the last episode, I had secured a girlfriend. And the first thing that I learned about dating a girl from Paris is public displays of affection. They are not only welcomed. It's almost as if they are required. When you date a girl from Paris, you're going to be kissing her everywhere on the street, 50 meters down the street, on the escalator, in the movie theater, on the bus at the bus stop pretty much everywhere.

And it really is awesome. You don't have to worry about being reserved. You don't have to worry about holding anything back. Well, maybe a few things, but not too much. And no one's going to bat night or even look at you funny there. And if you think about it, it kind of makes sense. I mean, Parisian, even when they say goodbye to each other are going to kiss each other on the cheek, even the men in their cute little Berets and their way too long scarfs when it's not even cold kissing each other on the cheek. So if you're going to kiss your friends in public all the time regularly, anyway, it seems to follow well that you might do more than that with the person that you're actually dating and do it all over and do it rather passionately. Yeah. That's one of my favorite parts of Parisian culture. I really, really do like that, but you're not going to be able to do that everywhere. God forbid you date someone in Germany or Austria or the German part of Switzerland, pretty much anywhere where they speak German

And have tiny little icy hearts.

The heartless cold, I don't know verboten PDA of the Germanic

Speaking peoples.

And in some cultures, you better not even think about exporting a kiss on the street from your experience in Paris. God forbid you go to Egypt. And when you're saying goodbye to your girl inside of your apartment, building in front of the elevators, but away from the street and you give her a little Peck on the cheek and the secret policemen dressed in plain clothes, who is standing on the other side of the glass, staring at you sees this calls, his friends over, including uniform police and interrogates you for hours. And the only thing that gets you out of that situation is your passport. That's the only reason you weren't arrested. Okay? Yeah. So I'm going to say that I prefer the Parisian method. Now you're not going to be kissing your girl everywhere in Paris guys. So if you go and date a girl from Paris, remember half the city smells like an open sewer,


All the places where it doesn't smell like that, you get a beautiful, passionate, loving, embraces. And I had so much fun gallivanting around Paris with my girl going and eating and drinking everything, sitting by the Sen, the main river that goes through the city, drinking wine, as the sun sets waving to the tour boats, oh my God. She hated that so much. But if you wave to the right boat, you can get at least half the boat waving back to you because they think you're a local and they get really good, excited. And it's so fun. And it's just great to go down all the little side streets in Paris in a certain area, you can get a two, three or four or even a five course menu for a meal, depending on which restaurant you go to for between 12 and 25 euros and the food isn't even half bad.

And with the restaurants that are right next to each other, you can have them negotiate against each other. So one will say, here's the menu. And the other one will say, oh, here's our menu. It's like theirs, but we will give you some free wine. We'll give you a glass of wine. The one guy will say, I'll give you a bottle of wine and you can have them work off each other and have just a great time in Paris. I remember one of the things you tried to do with me is to see how I would interact when I'm abroad. And I don't have her to help translate things. So one time we go to a really local restaurant where there's no English menu and nobody speaks English and she goes, okay, you handle everything, which is perfect. I love that. This is a mistake.

She only made once because we got four random, crazy, ridiculous appetizers and four desserts and a bunch of alcohol, which sounds like the perfect dinner for me. But one time, yeah, we went into a restaurant. No, this was a bar. This was a bar on a little side street. I still remember where it is. It was so traumatizing. The drink that I ordered French is a very interesting language. I don't know if you've ever heard it. It sounds really rather sexy to hear someone speak French. And I have to say little side note, there's one language where you should never have someone talk dirty to you. Okay. One specific particular language, Dutch, Dutch, Dutch, Dutch. This is the, I'm sorry. There are people are beautiful. It's true. But the language is so disgusting. Just don't even let a Dutch person talk Dutch to you. It's just the best thing you can do. Okay.

I love, I love my Dutch friends, but it's true. It's true. Anyway, side note, let's get back France because the French language is sexy and there's a particular drink. That sounds very sexy. And so I asked my girl, I said, how, what is this thing? And she goes, ah, TGV, TGV. [inaudible] that sounds very classy. Very nice, very elegant. Not that I care if it's classy, but it sounds like something that won't burn a hole in your liver, the moment it goes into your throat. So I order a TGVof a, and also that's the name of their high speed trains. So, you know, maybe it is a nice, expensive, classy beverage who knows, comes in a really sexy glass as well. And it's tequila, gin, vodka, tequila, vodka. I don't care if you use expensive versions of all three of those, the moment that you mix them, you have created a low yield nuclear warhead.

I mean, it is just disturbing. If you're able to down the entire drink, you will be totally hammered, but you'll never actually be able to down it because the moment it gets to your tongue, it just realize this is straight up poison. It's, it's the worst beverage I have ever had. That's my one really bad experience, gallivanting around Paris going to all these places. But now I want to tell you about a kind of fun and funny one, because we would go from restaurant to restaurant, to restaurant, not one after the other, but every time that I would come back to Paris, we would choose a new restaurant to go to and just sort of explore that and then have our main little routine that we would do at least once so that we got exactly what we wanted, which I'll cover in a little bit, but we would go and explore all the different restaurants and had a lot of fun doing it.

And one of the first ones we went to was an American diner and American diners abroad are always funny little institutions because whoever has created, these has never actually been to America or just can't actually get the ingredients. But it's like that they saw a couple of cartoons on TV, or they just watched pulp fiction basically over and over and over again, but they've never actually had diner food. And so they just kind of tried to recreate it. So they always get the booths, right. The looks right. And they always get a nice, pretty waitress and the period costume, not one of these gigantic fluff balls that is required to work. So stewardess on the smallest airplanes that you fly on in America. So the look is always nice and it's a fun atmosphere, but the food is always kind of goofy. And I realized a little bit later on, that would be the reason that the hamburgers were a little bit off is because I was eating Horse burger.

So Horse burgers Weren't exactly tasty, but there's two funny things that happened. The first time I went to this American diner. First of all, I had onion rings. Now, if you've ever been to an American diner, you know that one of the main institutions are the onion rings, crunchy, beautiful, warm, greasy, tasty, happiness. And I don't know if you've ever cut open an onion, okay. But if you cut it open, it's got rings. And if you slice it a little bit, you get onion rings. It's kind of a simple notion. Even I can make onion rings, but what they have done in this diner and pretty much every American diner, no, every American diner I've ever been to in Europe is they slice and dice the onions into as small, tiny, little confetti shaped pieces as they can, until they've created a sort of onion, liquid, like a little onion stew, and then they batter them in what must be one of those automated donut making machines that makes these tiny little ring donuts at street festivals.

And they put the onion mush in that. And then it creates little beautifully shaped Sonic the hedgehog golden rings. And when you bite into them, you bite into onion, mush something, which is just so disgusting. So horrible. It makes you think that if you were going to get babies hooked on onion rings, you know, babies who can't eat solid food, this is what you'd feed them. The onion ring mush of Europe. Oh, I still remember the first time I've been into that. It is exactly how I described it. There I'm not even exaggerating. It's greasy onion mush with no flavor. It's disgusting. But the second part of the state that was so funny to me is when the girl I'm dating goes up to the bathroom, she's waiting in line for the bathroom because per region bathrooms are so terrifically tiny. It's actually rather funny. Sometimes they'll have the urinals in the open area of the bathroom next to where you wash your hands and gentlemen gray. It's not too cold when your date comes in at that moment.

So anyway, it's a very tiny bathroom and she's waiting outside and the girl comes up behind her and thanked her profusely for eating the burger with her hands. Because apparently she was having argument with her boyfriend about whether or not they could do that. Little Beret wearing boyfriend was too scared to eat the burgers with his hands. And in fact was emphatic that you were not allowed to do that. And so when this girl saw us eating them with our hands, she was so happy and so excited that she had to go up to my girl at the toilet and thank her for doing that. Wow. How crazy is that? I mean, this is an American diner. You would assume that, Hey, Parisian adult male had maybe seen an American movie once with the diner in it where they're eating it with their hands, or I don't know, maybe it was the Baret or maybe it was a scarf a little bit too tight around his neck, cutting off the blood circulation to the brain. Yeah. And then when she came back and told me this, and I look over the, guy's still eating with a fork and knife with a burger, and it is one of the funniest things you've ever seen cutting it kind of like a pie and then cutting the little slice little pie slice into smaller pieces so that you can eat it with a fork. It has a bun on top

And a bun on bottom for a reason, my friend, okay. My bag get toting

Sash wearing Beret, sporting friend. You know, a lot of Europeans are going to eat pizza with a fork and knife. And actually, even though it's kind of funny to see for the first time. Sometimes it makes sense if the pizza is not made to actually be picked up, if they just don't expect you to pick it up and then make it. So it's kind of goofy, but with the burgers, never liked that. And the more that I went through Paris, the more that I actually saw this, the more local places that we went, where there aren't any foreigners, no tourists just per regions, the men and the women at the table, especially if they're on a date, are eating their burgers with a fork and a knife. And the funniest thing I saw even better than this, almost like this guy was in a contest for the goofiest way to eat a burger.

And I think it's mainly just the Swiss French speakers that do this is this guy had the burger and ate it from bun to bun. So he has a fork and knife and he eats the bread on top first with a fork and knife then eats the vegetables, then eats the cheese. Then he eats the meat. Then he eats the bread. That was actually maybe the best thing I've ever seen in Europe. Oh my God. That's not. What's making me cry. Just thinking about it. Yeah. Queue all the world war II jokes, by the way. That's when these can come into play for the Frenchies for the Parisian. Let me, let me say that. Oh my gosh, I lost my train of thought that that was just one of the, that was one of the funniest moments ever. And what the hell was I going to say after this? I don't even remember. I'm just thinking about this guy, eating the burger pay, stick to fondue.

Okay. Calm down, calm down. Oh, I'm not going to be able to cover all of the dinners that I've had, but that, that one was one of the funnier ones. So you can tell that food was a big part of our relationship. We loved going out and feasting and having a good time. And now I want to get back to the fun aspects of language. And, uh, when two people speak different languages, it's really, really funny. All the little mistakes that you can have. And gentlemen, this one is for you. If you're going to date a girl from France or Spain. So the French accent is great as beautiful. The Spanish accent is also hilarious as well and beautiful. And now just imagine a girl whose parents are born and raised in Spain, but came to France. Interesting story. Unfortunately, I can't tell you so born and raised in Spain, come to France, then have a child raise a child there. So she speaks Andalusian Spanish fluently and a version of French, probably from the south very fluently. Now what's the one letter that French and Spanish cannot pronounce correctly. Do you know? It's the H

Uh, it's so fun when they say hello. Hello. I,

But there's a particular word. That's important for us gentlemen. And it is when your girl says that she is angry, angry is a dangerous word because you never actually know if she's hungry or angry. And there's no point in asking her to repeat, because she's just going to say, I'm hungry. I'm hungry.

Oh my gosh.

Here's what you do. You have a bar of chocolate in your pocket. You have some pocket chocolate. Okay. That sounds ridiculous. When I say it out loud, pocket chocolate. So I have some pocket chocolate. And just every time that she says she's angry, you just sort of push it in her direction. Slowly as you side step, just a little bit seven out of 10 times, she's going to take the chocolate three out of those 10 times, she's going to use it as a weapon against you. And then after that, ask her if she wants to go sit on the bed.

Yeah. And is another one of my favorites. And it doesn't just go one way with laughing at each other's accent. By the way, when you have a good, healthy relationship, you're going to get it both ways. And like I said, she had a lot of fun with me asking me to order things in French. And so we had a lot of fun with the accents and the words and what it sounds like in one language versus another language. It's funny how many inappropriate words are just completely benign normal words in other languages, beat as a fun one as well. But let's move on to another one of my favorite aspects of Parisian culture, movies, Parisians love movies. They go all the time. They have movie theaters everywhere, big, small, medium, all shapes and sizes and old buildings and new buildings. You can even buy movie passes, monthly movie passes, where you can spend 20 to 50 euros a month and see as many movies as you want.

It is so much fun. Movies for per region are not just a singular moment. They are made into an event. So it's not like you drive to the movie theater, you see your movie and then you drive home and you're done. No, they bring food. They bring alcohol. They have a great time, do a little bit of PDA. They enjoy themselves. And of course, you're going to do things before and after and all around. And we created our own special little series of events around movies. I'd give her a call say, Hey, let's go out on Wednesday or Saturday or Friday. They do not wait until the weekends to go out and that's it. No more information needed. We both show up at opera. I show up at 7 0 5. She shows up at seven 30. So remember she's 30 minutes early, I'm five minutes.

And what we would do is we would go across the street to the pizza hut. That's right to the pizza hut. If you're going to have a nice regular date with a girl that you really like and get along with it, doesn't have to be something special. You can go somewhere where you're going to pig out on big greasy, slimy, all you can eat pizza and all you can drink. Coca-Cola so [inaudible], they don't have free refills in Europe. You know? So in all you can eat pizza and all you can eat. Drink Coca-Cola is pretty special there. But the pizza hut, I have to say, even though we did not partake in the class, the aspects of the pizza hut, they had a walls of wine and the menu was more kin to an Italian restaurant than pizza hut. But we sat in the very stereotypical pizza hut section, where you would imagine a divorced woman with four little children to sit.

So we go there, pick out, then walk down the street through the ancient, beautiful arcades down the stairs into the new arcades, have one or two hours of alcohol fuel to gaming full of ski ball and air hockey. And a right before the movie is about to begin run across the street, get a bottle of liquor or a six pack of beer and sneak it into the movie theater and then get drunk and enjoy the movie. And what happened after that is not fit for print. That was just the perfect evening, the trifecta. And there was one time where we wanted to go to a new burrito restaurant. This is just to show you how much people bring food into the theaters. So we get these big burritos wrapped in aluminum foil. We got a six pack of full-sized Corona. I don't know how my girl was able to hide everything, but she, she had skills.

And so we snuck it into the movie theater and right as the lights go down, we're thinking, okay, is it going to be a little bit too loud with the aluminum foil? And we hear everyone else ripping over their burrito bags and aluminum foil, because every other couple in the theater that night had gone for the big jumbo Tex Mex burritos, and then brought in some alcohol. So you don't feel out of place. You're just comfortable, relaxed, having a great time and really just enjoying movies and the life. The way that I think you should. Because in Paris, my experience, there was never, it was go to work and then come home. And that's a one thing I really don't like about America. And it almost doesn't matter where you live. A couple cities are exceptions, but most are not. You go to work, you come home, you go to work, you come home, you go to work, you go to the gym, you come home.

That's just so lonely. I want to hang out with people after work. I want to hang out with people in the evening. I want to talk. I want to socialize. I want to see them. And God forbid you graduate university in the us and you go live somewhere in a house, but you don't have your friends or your girlfriend or your wife or your long-term, whatever the hell they're already with you, you are out of luck. So for region culture, even though it seems so cold initially, once you get into a group of people there, once you become good friends with them, or you date someone from there, it's 180 degrees. The other direction, it goes from cold stern. Get the hell away from me, foreigner to you are part of the family. And you're never really going to spend time alone. And I used Paris as a sort of a hub and spoke system.

So I would go out and have my adventures in Europe and traveled to new places and have new experiences. And then always come back to Paris for a weekend or a week or two weeks, and then go on the series of interesting and exciting dates and experiences through Paris with my girl and join her and her friends for many, many interesting and fun parties. And I remember one in particular, it was Thanksgiving and it was the cutest little ever, because you know, when you're abroad, you're not going to be able to get good ingredients for something like try and get a good crumpet in America. It's very sad and depressing. It's not going to happen. So here they have little tiny pecan pies and little tiny apple pies each with American flags in him. And they have all of this sort of the funny versions of all the food.

Like they couldn't get an entire Turkey. And even if they did, they wouldn't have an oven big enough to cook the Turkey in because it's Paris. And so they have sliced Turkey in the little plastic packages. They just rolled them up and popped an American flag in it. And tons of cheese, of course, and cranberry sauce. But none of the ingredients have been really put together exactly correctly, but they tried really hard. It's kind of like the American diner experience. They tried really hard to make it as cute and nice as possible. But one thing that was great, everyone had brought at least one bottle of liquor with them. I think one bottle of liquor and one bottle of wine. It was the most alcohol fueled Thanksgiving I've ever experienced. And I'm starting to feel like, oh my gosh, I hope they didn't do this for me.

So I'm talking to my girl about it. And she says, no, no, no, no, no. We always do a celebration like this. We look for any reason to have a celebration. And I thought that was kind of interesting. What was important to them was coming together. And they just wanted an excuse to come together and to spend time with their friends and to enjoy time together with them to laugh, to talk, to exchange ideas, to have drinks, to be with each other. The reason for the celebration meant nothing, which is kind of interesting. When so many people today say, oh, well the origins of this and this are so horrible. So don't do them today. And then you meet people who don't even know what the hell the origins are and they don't give a crap about it. They just wanted any excuse to spend a and evening with their friends.

You know, Paris seems like such a cold, horrible desolate city, but once you get in with people, they are the warmest, most loving people, ever, even the guys with their cute little Berets and their little sashes are, they are very friendly. I still didn't let them kiss me on the cheek. I taught them how to shake hands the men, but my gosh. Yeah. I'll never forget that. Yeah, no, basically we don't care that it's Thanksgiving. We just think it's cute and it's fun. And we want to come together and spend time with each other and nothing hits home more than that. Now, when I think about it after being told for six months that it's not safe to leave my house, so I can't leave my apartment and I can't go outside because I only have a 99.5% chance of surviving. Yeah. Social connections are very, very, very, very important. It's probably all that matters. Really that apartment in Boston never made me happy having a celebration for anything to come together with people. It's what I have learned is truly what makes me happy. You know, I didn't like this at the time that the celebration happened. It would take years for me to sort of develop this understanding of it. I suppose, maybe that's, what's called getting old.

You care more. I don't know.

I think that's kind of a good place to leave this episode. And if I'm going to cheers to anything, I want to cheers to the beauty

Of connection.