NOTES ON: THE PARIS METRO

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1. Be Quick

By this I mean be quick to get on your train. It’s obviously rude to dilly-dally around through the gates and slowly slump your way down the stairs when people are in a rush, but really, be quick to get on the train and be mindful of the doors. Pay attention to those signs featuring the poor little bunny with his arm caught in the gate. Those doors will crush your arm too; this is not the green line anymore, they will show no mercy.

2. Press the button!

This really threw me off. On some metro trains or the RER trains in Paris (these service the outer limits of the city), you have to push a button on the inside/outside of the door to open it. In Boston, if a train door doesn’t open, that train car is out of service, and you’re just out of luck. In Paris, if the train door doesn’t open, you better open it yourself.

3. Calm Down

But actually, even during peak transportation hours, the Metro was rather quiet. People don’t seem to talk nearly as much on the metro as they do on subways back in the states, and they certainly never yell.

4. Don’t Eat

Really, you’ll get stared at a lot of places in Europe if you start eating a sandwich while on the go, but on the Paris metro, this seems to throw everyone off.

5. Save Your Ticket!

If you’re taking an RER train especially, you need your ticket to get out! It’s how they know you did not buy a train ticket for a cheaper zone. Hold onto your ticket so you can use it at the exit gates at the end of your journey.

Photo: The front facade of Gare du Nord, Paris, France. June 2014.

1 Comment

  1. I have lived in Paris for three years, and I was just informed by a couple of natives that putting lipstick on in the Metro is akin to advertising that you are a hooker. Apparently, it is a very sexual gesture to put lipstick on anywhere in public. Who knew?

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