The 20 things you need to do before you're considered a "Parisian"

It’s temping to think that all you need to do in order to be considered a Parisian is to snort contemptuously at a tourist and then seduce his girlfriend. Unfortunately, it seems, there's a lot more to it, but that being said, stay here long enough and you’ll find yourself taking on a variety of Parisian tendencies. Here's how you know you've officially crossed over...

1. Show your disinterest with the correct sounds/shrugs
You know the ones. The casually dismissive shrug that’s accompanied by a lip pout and a slight exhale of air, and possibly a casual exclamation of “bof” or “pfff”? Know it. Master it.

2. Complain
It doesn’t matter about what. 

3. Know how to handle a fonctionnaire
That person dealing with your paperwork at the prefecture? Yeah, until you know how to talk to them and get what you want, you’re not a Parisian. Or even French for that matter.

Canal Saint Martin
Flickr user hotzeplotz

4. Drink on Canal Saint-Martin
Sure, all the guidebooks tell you to buy a bottle of wine and drink on the Seine, but Parisians hit the Saint-Martin.

5. Leave town for all of August
The only people in Paris in August are tourists and the people that were too late in their Summer planning to lock down a good deal on a vacation somewhere else. And you don’t want to be that person.

6. Stop smiling
French people smile. Parisians don't. Pick a side.

Flickr user Maggie Brauer

7. Smoke
Smoke, ironically, as if your life depended on it.

8. Be able to wear a scarf in all seasons
It's practically the city’s uniform.

9. Get angry at dinner parties
Or at least, express a point in a heated discussion. Possibly while smoking.

Flickr user Benjamin Thompson

10. Order an espresso after a meal
You can opt out of dessert, but not rounding off a long meal without a strong cup of black espresso just makes you look weird.

11. Be embarrassed because you went to the grocery store in your workout clothes
If you do this in your sleep you need to wake up and change. 

12. Use the word “putain” with alarming regularity
It's almost a term of endearment now.

Metro stop
Wikimedia Commons

13. Stuff yourself into the Metro
There are no fancy subway pushers like in the Tokyo Metro. You need to stuff yourself in here. 

14. Love New York
No, but like really love it. New York c’est trop bien!

15. Go to an apéro that starts at 7pm and ends at 3am... on a Wednesday
Sure, you came over for a glass of bubbles and some light appetizers. But then the conversation got good and another bottle was opened and soon it was 10pm and you and your host figured it was best to throw together a salad and eat it with the baguette and last bit of cheese that they had on hand. All to say: if you’re getting invited over for an apéro, best not to make any plans for afterwards.

Flickr user Zdenko Zivkovic

16. Know what constitutes a good croissant and a bad croissant
Hint: the real ones are made with pure butter and cynicism. 

17. Go to a dinner party that starts at 9pm... on a Wednesday
You can probably get into the office around 10am tomorrow morning.

Flickr user Uncalno Tekno

18. Know what kind of wine you like and how to order it
“A red” isn’t going to cut it.

19. Don't be self-critical about what you eat
You eat croissants and you enjoy it. But you don’t overdo it. Had a big meal last night? Have a salad today. Eating is about balance and enjoyment, not about feeling bad about yourself.

20. But still be a little critical about what you eat…
You have to look like a Parisian too.