Friday, February 21, 2014

5 Ways Living in Paris is Like Dental Work

Movies and books tend to paint Paris as a lovely tableau of historical monuments, delicious wine, and romantic scenery. Then you get those few snarky commentaries that slip through and show you what it's really like to live here.

Overall, I'd say living in Paris is worth it, despite the infuriating government workers or the Metro smelling like urine. But part of what makes it tolerable is being able to complain about it!

5 Ways Living in Paris is Like Dental Work: From someone who's lived in Paris for 9 years!
5 Ways Living in Paris is like Dental Work

I've lived in Paris for 9 years. And I've had excessive dental work - 13 baby teeth pulled, replaced my two front teeth twice, and had braces, appliances, and pretty much every other dental gadget that exists.

So what better way to illustrate the real life in Paris than with a list of the Top 5 Ways Living in Paris is Like Dental Work:

1. It's expensive

Paris: Your 20 square meter (215 square feet) apartment will set you back at least €700 per month (close to $1000), and you'll consider yourself lucky if the bathroom is IN the apartment and you have a functioning stove.
Dental Work: I've paid over $5000 to get my teeth fixed, and that doesn't count the procedures my parents paid for when I was under 18.

2. It's frustrating

Paris: You show up for your visa renewal appointment with all 10 things on the list they mailed you, only to be met with "What about [item that wasn't on the list]? Pfff. Come back when you're prepared." You mean, come back when I've learned how to read minds?
Dental Work: "So how was your vacation?" "Garg... fleurg..." "Please hold your mouth still while I'm doing this." Then why did you ask, nimwit?!?

3. It hurts

Paris: You attempt to pay for a €12 taxi ride with a €20 bill, only to have the cabbie launch into a tirade about how "you people" never have change and "you people" always expect him to make change. Then he tries to make up for it by opening the door for you, a pregnant lady who just got dropped off at the ER. Too late pal, you already made me cry.
Dental Work: Fewer drills were used to build the Eiffel Tower than the dentist has used on your mouth, and you're only 5 minutes into the appointment.

4. You experience all sorts of unusual tastes

Paris: Escargots are way better than I imagined (mainly because they're drowned in a butter garlic sauce) but I will never get used to kidneys or cow tongue or bone marrow. Thankfully you can wash it all down with a delicious glass of wine.
Dental Work: The dentist thinks he sucked out all the saliva from your mouth so he gives you permission to swallow, and you are met with the taste of cement and blood. Yuck. But if you're lucky they'll give you a cherry fluoride treatment to rinse it out with!

5. It's all worth it in the end

Paris: Where else can you picnic in front the Eiffel Tower, being treated to a sparkly light show on the hour every hour? Or view some of the world's finest art in the Louvre and Musee d'Orsay? Or (have I mentioned this yet?) drink some of the best wine in the world?
Dental Work: I've literally had people come up to me on the street and say what a nice smile I have (see, I must like Paris if I'm smiling like an idiot while walking down its streets).

Have you visited Paris? Currently live in Paris? What would you compare Paris life to?

Want more? Subscribe to receive an email when I post a new article, or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Life's short. Laugh more. Buy my books at

Vicki Lesage, Author