10 Metro Commandments

Christella Philippe
November 2, 2019
a metro train passing in front of the Eiffel Tower

One of the benefits of living in Paris is how easy it to get anywhere within the city; There are buses, trains, Ubers, taxis, motorcyclists and my personal favorite, the metro. As a tourist, you might be tempted to get on a tourist bus that drops you off at specific touristic locations, but today I want to encourage you to do something different. I've had friends visit Paris for a weekend and spend way too much on transportation when they could be putting that money elsewhere. The most efficient way that I've found to get around Paris is the metro. Now I know that doesn't sound luxurious, but there are so many metros in Paris you can get almost anywhere. That is why I have created the 10 Metro Commandments. These tips will help you navigate the metro and save money.

10 Metro Commandments

1. Thou shall mind your own business
In Paris people get on the metro to get to their destinations, not to make friends. Mind your business and keep it moving unless you see something that is a danger.

2. Thou shall keep it down
Americans are known for being "too loud" so try not to yell across the metro in English or any language. This will only draw unnecessary attention and annoy other people.

3. Thou shall keep your eyes to yourself
Metros are notorious for pickpockets. Make sure you hold on to your bags and watch your items carefully if you want them to return home with you

4. Thou shall use common sense
The metro is not your private travel train, don't lay your bags out everywhere. Other people have to sit down too. If the metro is too full and your seat is close to the door, you will have to stand up to make room for others! Sharing is caring!
5. Thou shall stay woke
Staying awake after a long day can be hard, but I advise you to stay woke. I have seen the police come wake people up on the metro out of concern for their safety. If you are traveling alone I would not recommend falling asleep.

6. Thou shall Be kind
The metro can get pretty crowded. When you're in proximity to others you might get accidentally touched, shoved and stepped on. If this happens, remain calm. I have seen Americans start yelling at people in English after they are accidentally touched by someone else. That does not look good, represent your country well!

7. Thou shall Be patient
The metro is usually very quick and on a good day, everything goes as planned. Sometimes there is traffic or an incidence that causes everyone to have to get out as they resolve the issue. If you feel like it is taking too much time, you can leave or try another route but they are usually very quick at fixing things. Be patient because as soon as you walk away the problem is fixed! Better safe than sorry.

8. Thou shall respect the strike
The French are known for their ability to revolt and that hasn't changed a bit. Sometimes there are planned transportation strikes where workers protest for better conditions. Although sometimes inconvenient, these people have to live here while you are just visiting. They deserve the right to protest and demand change. With that in mind, keep your eyes open for scheduled protests and respect the strike.

9. Thou shall be ready
As you're walking to the station, make sure you have your boarding pass or ticket in hand. People move very fast in Paris and they do not want to wait behind you in the line so you can find your pass that is hidden deep in your backpack. If you're having trouble finding it, move aside and let other people through.

10. Thou shall know the way
Navigating the metro is very easy. There are signs everywhere and if you're lost there are people around who can help. To prevent from looking like a lost tourist refrain from standing in the middle of the metro station with your map as you point at everything. The most effective way I've found to navigate is through Google Maps or phone applications like CityMapper. CityMapper helps you find transportation in big cities and even tells you which section of the metro to sit on to be closer to your exit. It saves a lot of time and talking to strangers!

There are so many other things I could say about the metro but I feel like these tips are the most important. Do not fear the metro! You don't have to Uber/taxi everywhere, save your money!

Things to pray for
Pray for public transportation workers and people who clean metro stations
Pray for better conditions for workers
Pray for the people who self-harm/lose their lives on metro tracks
Pray for families who beg at metro stations

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Christella Philippe

<p>Hello world, My name is Christella and I am a senior music major, with a vocal emphasis at Berea College in Berea Kentucky. I am originally from Cap-Haitian, Haiti and music is my passion. During my free time I enjoy writing songs, playing instruments, poetry, reading, cooking, and going on adventures. My friends describe me as a spiritual leader and a Jokester because I love making people laugh. A fun fact about me is that I wrote/co-produced an album that you can find on Bandcamp.com. Thank you how joining me as I experience Paris!</p>

2019 Fall
Home University:
Berea College
Berea, KY
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