It might strike you as a little strange, but there are certain household items that Parisians can get greatly attached to. Or at least expats who move here and who are used to “a certain way of doing things”.
It occurred to me that there are certain appliances that I am so used to now in Paris, that I never really paid attention to before in Canada. It is not that we don’t have them in North America, it is just that they are a bit different. And I mean beyond the 220 voltage.
Now these are not just restricted to Paris, this will be the case in other large cities across France as well. But with Paris apartments being as small as they are, these quirks are more pronounced here.
1. Induction stove
Most Parisian apartments don’t have gas lines installed due to the risk of a fire hazard. And since electricity can be expensive, quick induction stoves are the only way to go. You would be hard-pressed to find any other type of stove at your local French appliance store.
I can’t tell you how many pots and pans I’ve had to throw out since they simply don’t work on the induction stove. Who remembers to check this before buying a pan!?
☞ READ MORE: The 11 French Emergency Phone Numbers
2. Washer dryer 2 in 1
Apartments in Paris are small. If you have read my post on the cost of living in Paris, you know that €1million euros will buy you approximately 850 square feet (80 sqm). So space is limited.
And with that, who is going to invest in making sure there is enough space for a washer and dryer in your very tiny apartment? I suppose you could go the stackable route, but the simpler solution is the 2 in 1. A potential necessity if you have a family with small children.
Winter in Paris can get cold. Apartment buildings generally have a central radiator system that is turned on 15 October until 15 April. (Yes, it is a legally-mandated date, this is France, we legislate everything.)
But it can get colder than that much earlier. For instance, it is currently mid-May and the temperature is a rainy 22C° (70F°).
And since you don’t have control of the temperature in your own apartment, you resort to those little portable heaters that everyone gets, waiting for the “official heat” to be turned on.
☞ READ MORE: What is it like to visit France in winter?
4. Mobile air conditioner
At the other extreme, there is a distinct lack of air-conditioning across Paris. Even when it is over 35C° (95°F).
Installing it is nearly impossible with all the permits and authorizations you require. Hence this annoying little piece of equipment that you have to install in the summer and put back in the cave (locker) every winter.
☞ READ MORE: Living in Paris: the Good, the Bad & the Ugly
5. Towel Warmer in the bathroom
And finally, with all those temperature changes, lots of rain, and a general lack of ventilation indoors, you always have very humid bathrooms.
There are no heated floors in 18th-century buildings, so of course, a lovely towel warmer is going to keep the dampness away make it all nice and toasty.
First world problems? Most definitely. But we are creatures of habit after all. If you enjoyed that article, you may like to read more about living in Paris. A bientôt!