Vacation in Paris? A la poubelle.

These past few weeks, I spent a lot of time telling my younger cousins all sorts of bright, fantastical lies. Yes, Santa Claus is real! Of course, I’m just as much a real adult as your parents! But, after watching Ratatouille, the kids threw me a real hardball:

“Bipul, is Paris actually that amazing and beautiful?”

I felt my stomach turn and my entire body wince as I mumbled, “Oh, yeah, for sure.” These kids are no older than 10; they dream of traveling around the world. They’re not ready to know the truth. But you and I are grown-ups now, and it’s time we come to terms with reality – Paris really, truly sucks. And it’s not just one thing either, the entire city is a massive poubelle de gros merde.

1: Accommodations are merde

I know you want to watch the Eiffel Tower’s light show from a balcony next to the Louvre while you sip on chenin blanc, but no one can afford that. Instead, you’ll share a musty hostel room with a hepatitis-riddled mime (hepatitis A, B, and C) and an overenthusiastic Croatian couple who will break up before you even know how to pronounce the place’s name.

2: Public transportation is merde

Ok, maybe a terrible hostel can be overlooked. It’s the city that matters! Good luck getting anywhere interesting. Hop on the metro or the bus, and you’ll be surrounded by stuck-up suits on their third lunch break of the day, sweaty American tourists clinging onto nonsensical maps, and the stench of bad roquefort and regret. Oh, and the hepatitis-riddled mime? He’s in there too.

3: So-called “romance” is super plus méga ultra gros merde

Alright, so you’ve had a terrible time in Paris, but maybe you still have faith in its romantic power! Of course, this is the biggest lie of them all. Colette and Linguini will break up in Ratatouille 2 when Linguini realizes he’s attracted to rats. The Croatian couple will be making out behind you all the way up the Eiffel Tower (and you took the stairs, so this is all the more impressive and nauseating). A pigeon will steal your croissant right out of your hand. The only romantic thing about the so-called “City of Love” is the light of the setting sun shining on paint peeling off an ancient, poorly-maintained building, inhabited by people with failing marriages—the divorce rate in France is 55 percent.

Friends, heed my warning. Maybe you had a good time in Puerto Rico over break, but want to change it up and explore Paris next year. Unfortunately, it’s time to wake up and smell the €15 coffee – you’re better off in Paris, Texas. At least the people there will save their make-outs for elevators. 

— B. Soti