I’ve been in France for a month now, and there are a couple of sights which are not synonymous to the impressions most of us have of France, especially Paris.

When you speak of Paris, it’s always about the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower or the love lock bridge. You’d never catch anyone talking about the less romanticized side of Paris. The reality is, they exists!

1. French people smoke, a lot.

Young or old, they smoke a lot. I’ve heard of French people sipping wines and enjoying their cuppa at cafes, but I never knew they enjoy smoking as much too.


2. Cleanliness

When it comes to public cleanliness, they cannot match up to Singapore’s. (In fact, few countries can!) Beware of the landmine’s on the street. If you’re not careful, you might get lucky with poo!


3. They have a knack for graffiti and street art.


To the French, Singapore is too clean, too stifled, with little form of expression.

4. There are pharmacies at every nook and cranny.


You simply won’t get enough of these neon green signs.

5. On the contrary, toilets are a scarcity. 

You need to either be a patron at a café, or withstand the stench of public toilets if you truly and desperately need one.

6. McDonald’s are green, not red?


McDonald’s in France have changed their iconic red background to green! This is in line with their promotion of “greener” practices, such as undertaking their responsibility for the preservation of natural resources. I have reservations about the success of their marketing effort though.

Well, I must admit, Singapore is not such a bad place to live in after all, what with its litter and smoking laws. We ought to complain a little less, embrace our little city a little more!

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Isabel Leong

Isabel Leong

An explorer at heart, the world is Isabel's playground. She enjoys seizing every moment exploring every hideout and doing the unimaginable, like bungee jumping in Phuket and couchsurfing in Europe. If she had wings, she’d definitely be soaring right now. Also a fitness trainer, if she’s not at the gym, you can find her doing yoga or rock climbing! Read more about her on belaroundtheworld.com/about.

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