The Anti-Amélie Syndrome

I have always had Amélie-like  tendencies.  Wait…you all know Amélie right?  That adorably sympathetic character played by Audrey Tautou in the movie Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain.  She decides to devote her life to the people around her after one rewarding encounter that would change her destiny.

I have worked with UNICEF and The Red Cross and genuinely love to help others.  I live for the satisfaction that comes from seeing happiness on others’ faces.   And you realize that the more you do it, the more you want to…its contagious.   I frequently give money to beggars on the streets even though I know that some of them are part of organized mobs and will probably splurge it on a beer.  Some people’s eyes speak to you and my heart weakens more often than not.  I also figure, they definitely need it more than I do and so the intention trumps their ultimate use for the money.  I also stop when strangers ask for something or need to use my phone to make a call.  Some people may call this naivete but I like to see it as compassion and understanding.

Paris is changing me however.  With all the horror stories I have heard about people getting mugged and robbed on the metro, my over cautiousness is turning me into what I feel is a rude, uncaring person.  Of-course being lost in translation has already put me in some very (very) awkward situations with over eager men and other strange characters on the RER C which is all the more reason why I have turned on my Parisian pout and stare straight ahead into blank space as I was taught by Olivier Giraud in this hilarious play that N treated me to a few weeks ago.

So the big question is… what do you all think?  Should I stay true to me or play it safe?

Just a quick note on the play we saw.  It’s called “How to Become a Parisienne in 1 Hour”.  This is THE ONLY show in Paris that has been conceived, created and is executed in English!  It’s extremely funny and takes digs at the Parisian culture mainly but others as well, mainly the American one!  The man behind the concept is named Olivier Giraud, in fact it’s a one man show of which he is the star!  If you are in Paris even for a visit, dont miss it, it will shed more light on the fascinating Parisian culture and will teach you how to blend in a little more! If you have moved or are moving to Paris, definitely dont miss it!  Make sure you bring your sense of humor, he’s a riot!  You can find more information here.



  1. julio1305 · · Reply

    When do you do all the writing?! You are a blog machine! Original one! I like :)

    From: “the (fake) parisienne.” Reply-To: “the (fake) parisienne.” Date: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 11:07 PM To: Nael Itani Subject: [New post] The Anti-Amelie Syndrome thefakeparisienne posted: “I have always had Amlie-like tendencies. Wait…you all know Amlie right? That adorably sympathetic character played by Audrey Tatou in the movie Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amlie Poulain. She decides to devote her life to the people around her af”

  2. I never disclose my secrets Julio, thanks for reading! ( ;
    And what’s your answer to my question?

  3. I saw the title of this post and I had to a double take. It took me about 2 seconds before reading the post to realize you talking about the movie and not me! (In fact, most asked question in the US when I tell people my name is “Oh, like the movie?”)

    If I were in Paris, I would definitely see this show, I bet it would be really funny!

    Also, when it comes to the Parisian metro, definitely always play it safe. I have heard too many horror stories about people getting mugged–I know an American girl who got mugged and once heard an awful story about a poor old lady being shoved down a flight of stairs after being robbed. My aunt and uncle who live in the Paris suburbs do not let their youngest daughter take the RER by herself late at night. It’s weird, because you wouldn’t associate Paris with that kind of crime. I never felt that way on the metro in Madrid or even in NYC. It’s something most people don’t realize before coming to Paris but the Parisian metro gets a bad rep.

  4. Stay true to urself but in a smart way :)

  5. Amelie you made me laugh, i love that movie, that’s a great association to have! ( :
    Thanks for your advice. The RER C is super freaky by night especially because the stations are huge and usually very empty. I am now taking it by day and using the metro by night so your advice is spot on! It’s true, when you think of Paris, there are so many positive associations that immediately come to mind, and crime is far from that list but you can never be too careful here!

    If you are ever in Paris I will personally treat you to that show! ( ;

  6. […] themed around my move and becoming more of a parisienne.  My birthday surprise consisted of a show, a French dinner, a tour around Paris and a Parisienne brunch.  The highlight was definitely the […]

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