From paying 60 euros for a ten-minute taxi to inhaling an entire baguette before lunch, there are several embarrassing mistakes tourists make in Paris.
But none are quite so public as the following Instagram erreur: trying to take ‘glamorous’ photos throughout your morning java experience, rather than sitting back and enjoying the thing.
Though not quite as bad as swigging Grand Marnier from the bottle and passing out underneath the Eiffel Tower, this sin stops you enjoying the authentic Parisian ‘cafe experience.’
What do we mean by ‘authentic’? Paris based photographer Patrick Colpron sums it up nicely in the following image.
“Café life is when you just take the time to love a little instead of rushing from place to place. It is when you can afford to wait 15-20 minutes to have your order taken for a simple coffee and another 15-20 minutes to have it brought to you. The time it takes to fully enjoy the simple pleasure of another person’s company, a fresh newspaper or a good book,” Colpron captions the photo.
Gary Prebble, the owner of Sydney French restaurant Bistro St Jacques, agrees, telling DMARGE the classic cafe experience in France should be unhurried, simple; non neurotic.
According to Gary, a big mistake tourists make when visiting Paris is obsessing over documenting the experience, taking photos, putting pressure on ourselves to enjoy it, and thus not getting the meditative ‘moment’ Colpron mentions above.
“I am 50 years old, so I grew up without social media and phones… and I am quite shocked at how much people rely on the use of these devices to legitimise their experience today. I think this can contribute to significantly increased neuroses. I always have the feeling it takes people out of the experience of being there, and that is probably antithetical to a great hospitality experience of immersion.”
Gary also gave us a friendly pointer on how to find a good cafe in France: “A good one they will not chase you in!” as well as an insight into why tourists expect things to taste more glamourous in Paris: “This city has a history of a collective passion for food, love, lifestyle and human freedom.”
“It’s a special place. We tap into that when we are there.”