I’ll Always Have Paris

Here are 6 interesting reasons why:

1. Living in Paris is like living in the past.

I say “bonjour monsieur” to my local florist whenever I pass his shop. Retire Paris, FranceI meet friends at their local bar. I am no longer fazed when I see a man smoking a pipe. Or, an elegantly dressed woman in her eighties, holding her dog on public transport. I’m also no longer fazed when I see a man in his thirties, carrying a cat, on public transport. I use a check book to pay my physiotherapist (nobody uses checks in Australia). I buy my fruit and vegetables from the local market on the weekend and I pick up my fresh baguette from the boulangerie in the evenings.

I have learnt how to appreciate the simplicity of life by being forced to slow down. Retirement in Paris, FranceI no longer have the convenience of a car which means that I take in a lot more of my surroundings when I walk or take public transport everywhere. With shops closed on Sundays, I no longer dash to a supermarket to pick up what I had forgotten. Instead I will go to the market and chat to the grocer who sells the plumpest looking “coeur de boeuf” (ox’s heart) tomatoes. He will throw in an extra one at closing time and then, I will buy a handful of those fancy looking wild mushrooms on display that I have no idea how to cook.

2. The “opening” hours

As I mentioned before, businesses aren’t open on Sundays. Sunday mornings are for the market and Sunday afternoons are for rest and spending time with your loved ones. No shopping, no running of errands, no browsing in shops, no nothing. There’s a sense of calmness and tranquility in the streets. I have found a new appreciation for the Sunday ritual of slowing down and to be honest, I quite like it.

Certain banks are closed on Mondays. Certain post offices are closed at lunch from 12-2pm. I won’t comment there.

Over the Summer, pretty much the whole of Paris closes in August as Parisians go on their annual Summer holiday. My partner has 6 weeks annual leave each year and always heads to the south of France with his childhood friends to enjoy his holidays. And by “holiday” I don’t mean jam-packed days of back to back sightseeing. Retire in Paris, FranceI mean renting a modest country house in Provence, having long 3 hour lunches each day, soaking up the sun with a novel in hand and late night conversations with a digestif and your childhood friends that you see once a year.

There’s a real sense of balance to life in France. Sure it’s annoying when your bank is closed on a Monday but it’s also nice feeling to see a sign displaying “closed for the month of August”. I feel happy for the family who has consciously made a decision to forgo the money they would have made in August in order to take it easy for a month. The work to live not live to work mantra is something taken seriously in France.



Pages: 1 2 3 4 5


  1. Thank you for the marvellous article, Nhan! Seriously enjoyed reading it and wish to fly to Paris right now. You are a great author!

  2. Margie Armour

    July 7, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    I loved reading this article.
    I also enjoy your blog. Please keep taking me around Paris with you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


About  · Blog  · Contact Us  · Terms of Service

copyright © 2022 by MSI - powered by WordPress - Up ↑