Being a study abroad student and living in a shared apartment with other students, I have picked up a few things about the living customs here in Paris. There are a lot of mandatory tasks that were easy to figure out thanks to the help of the instructors here. However, there are tasks and social cues that come implied and go unspoken that I learned the hard and a more embarrassing way. You are lucky; these tips will guide you to a better transition into your Parisian living experiences without the embarrassment factor.
Like I said there are tasks and social cues that are implied. So let’s start with things to do when it comes to apartment living.
- Remember to say “Bonjour!” when running into your neighbors. It’s considered rude to walk by your neighbors and not say hello.
- Remember that the floors in Paris start at 0 for the ground floor and not 1. This comes in handy when you are assigned to live on the 4th
- Do separate your trash. Parisians are really into being eco-friendly and try to conserve and recycle whenever possible. So do your part by separating your recyclables from the trash. There are bins in your apartment to help separate.
- Double check you got your keys on you before you go out the door because once you close that door it clicks the lock and you can’t get back in without a key. Remember to always know where your keys are. To exit your apartment, you would need a key unlock the deadbolt in the door.
- Do take out the trash every 1-2 days or else the kitchen will smell, or worse, creepy crawlers will being to emerge.
- When drying your clothes, hang the clothes on the rack and place the rack near the radiators or the windows for a quicker dry than the restroom.
- Do go grocery shopping or plan your meal options on Saturday night because many restaurants and shops are closed on Sunday.
- Do pay attention to apartment notices because it’s a form of communication between you and the landlord. They tend to have information like when the water is shutting off or other maintenance information.
- Do close all the doors behind you for safety. You don’t want people that don’t live in the building finding a way in.
Now that we have gone over the easy part about things you should do when living here, we have to go over the hard part. There are a lot of things that you are not allowed to or shouldn’t do. Many of these are again implied and go without saying.
- Don’t make noise past 10pm. Your neighbors will call the cops because it’s the law 10pm is quiet time in order to keep the peace for sleeping neighbors. Your neighbors will not hesitate to call the cops.
- Earlier, I mentioned that you say “Bonjour!” when seeing your neighbors. On that note, do not start small talk. Your neighbors expect you to be polite but are in too much of a hurry to be stopped for your life story.
- Don’t let food or hair go into the drains because it will clog. Trust me even a little piece of hair can clog the pipe and showering in knee deep water is no fun.
- Don’t close the bathroom door after a shower because the hot steam will cause mold on the ceiling. I’ve seen pictures from previous tenants and it’s an ugly sight.
- Do not put your recyclables in bags the managers will hassle you. They prefer the recyclables thrown in the bin just as is. My landlord has made that clear with his many postings near the area.
- Do not lie in bed with your street clothes. Parisians fear bed bugs due to a previous outbreak. So be preventative by changing into clean clothes before going to sleep since you have been taking the metro all day.
Hopefully, all these tips and guidelines become useful and prevent you from any awkward encounters once living aboard in Paris.