1. Owing political allegiance to another country or government; foreign: alien residents. 2. Belonging to, characteristic of, or constituting another and very different place, society, or person; strange. 3. Dissimilar, inconsistent, or opposed, as in nature: emotions alien to her temperament.


noun 1. a female native or resident of Paris

I’m Paris Karin, an American, and I arrived in Paris in 2008. Here at the blog An Alien Parisienne, I write about feeling like an “outsider” in Paris. Gluten and dairy intolerant and often ambivalent about the city everyone seems to adore, I am learning to love and appreciate Paris on her terms one day at a time.

My very first post for this blog, A Beginning of Something, explains a little more about what it is I think I am doing here at this blog. 😀 Not that I know, most days, lol.


I wrote more about my health issues and health background on November 17, 2009 (“I Am…”)

I was invited by Misadventures with Andi to post about my passion for Paris. An explanation of  how and why I arrived in Paris is here at “Paris: A Love Story.” (May 28, 2010)

To learn more about me and some of my likes and dislikes, check out “Ten Questions Tagged, Times Two” where I answer questions asked by other bloggers. (June 24, 2010)


26 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Karin!

    I will most likely be in Paris Dec 4-6 and would love to meet for coffee if the timing works. I plan on staying in the 6th near the Odeon metro stop area. What part of Paris are you located in? Please feel free to email me and we can see if we can set something up!


  2. Hi Karin,

    I’ve just stumbled across your blog and I’m very glad I did. ‘Alien’ is just the word for how I think we’ll always feel here.

    I’ve been catching up a bit on your blog and it seems you’re a bit ambivalent about Paris (correct me if I’m wrong!) as I was/am. Struggling to make a life here when so many people think it’s so wonderful is hard.

    I’m committing to enjoying it more now and recently started a blog. paris (im)perfect. Because Paris isn’t perfect and being able to say that has allowed me to make my peace with it – and enjoy it a lot more!

    Take care,

    • Hi Sion! I’m glad you found my page. 🙂

      Struggling to make a life here when so many people think it’s so wonderful is hard.

      LOL! Completely agreed. 🙂 Yes, in many ways Paris was not a place of my choosing — it was a bit more by accident and happenstance. I started this blog to come to peace with things myself. I love what you say here:

      Because Paris isn’t perfect and being able to say that has allowed me to make my peace with it – and enjoy it a lot more!

      I will certainly be by your blog to check things out, too. I’m actually off to Antibes for a few days, but will put you in Google Reader and check in as I can.

      I am so glad you stopped by! Take care.
      (an alien parisienne)

  3. Hope you’re enjoying Antibes and that its sunny and the foot is better! Rain & snow in Lyon 😦

    • Hey Piglet! 😉 I am having a great time so far. We are overdosing on episodes of the American show “Project Runway” and it has been great fun! 🙂 The foot is improving each day as I also hope your hand is! I hope the weather gets better in Lyon soon. Take care — Karin

  4. Karin,
    I’m sorry to bother you! I’m in Paris for the summer and think I have a virus on my laptop (my connection to family, friends, oh lord, I’d be lost without it!). Do you know of anywhere where I could get it looked at by someone who speaks English? I’ve googled and found nothing! I’m desperate!
    Thanks so much!

    • Hey there, Jennifer! Oh man… that is a really good question.

      I just checked one of my favorite sites for information like this, Posted in Paris, and there is a very good article there about getting your computer up and running, and some info about what to do if you have problems. I’d try some of the suggestions there, first.

      I have not personally had to deal with this problem. When we have something go wrong, we first call our downstairs neighbor, who is a techie. If he can’t figure it out, then Paul handles taking it to a place. He also speaks French.

      I’m going to send you a little note, too, and here’s to good luck in figuring it out!

      • P.S. I was really excited to see your blog, too. Thank you for including me in your blogroll and I loved reading your posts! You’ve been having a great time this past month! Well, until the computer stuff now…

  5. Thank-you so much for your help! I think I’m in the clear re: computer until I’m back in Canada…fingers crossed!
    P.S. I am also a bit weirded out by the hair/art thing. I find it interesting…but gross!

  6. Susan

    Hi! I somehow found your blog among the many Paris blogs I’ve dipped into recently. I really like your writing – I’m looking forward to moving to Paris in 6 mos, so reading about life there from the perspective of someone who never had that dream is very interesting.

    How do you like the 19th? It’s one of our top choices because of Butte Chaumont – we are bringing our dog with us and need a nearby park for his (and our) exercise.

    • I’m glad you found the blog, Susan! Thanks for taking the time to read. 🙂

      I honestly adore the 19th, and it is what keeps me sane about living in a city like Paris. It has some rough edges, but it has a slightly gentrified urban feel that I find really dynamic and exciting, more like I have felt in places like Seattle, San Francisco, and other cities I find really cool. If you like “classic Paris” though, you may not be as thrilled with it. The area around the Buttes Chaumont is really nice, though.

      Good luck with figuring everything out for your move!

  7. Hi Karin! How fun to reconnect in francophile cyberspace. I’m adding your site to my blogroll! Keep in touch. (Ed’s not on FB, though–not his thing.)

    • Thanks for coming by, Sarah, and thanks for adding me to your blogroll. 🙂 Sorry there is not much new posted here just now. I hope to have the time in a couple of days to ‘splain why all the silence here. Good to know Ed’s not on FB. I’m glad we found one another, too! Take care Sarah.

  8. Hi Karin, I’ve been surfing the well-established Paris blogs and saw yours! I’m very impressed with it, I like your honest writing style and the humourous pictures that go with it.

    I’ve started a blog about my year as an assistant in Paris if you’re interested, it’s

    Best wishes,


    • Hey Rob! Well thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, too. 🙂 Thanks for getting into the spirit of the blog here. Yeah, life, to me, especially in Paris, has a lot of humor in it, and if ya’ don’t laugh, ya’ gotta cry, right?! 😉

      I’ve opened up your blog already, and skimmed a little. I’ll comment there in just a bit, but wanted to thank you for adding me to your blog roll.

      Hope to see you back soon (or the next time I post, anyway!) and hope you are having a good day in the City of Light. Or the City of Rain, as it is today. And Wet Leaves. LOL.

  9. philipp

    is there any way to contact you via e-mail about your blog? My e-mail is philipp_von_plato@internations.org.

  10. I am in Paris now with my family and enjoyed the time here. Last year, I was 100% certain I wanted to move here and leave North America. This year, I realize I’m really North American with a European soul, but some of the structures, policies and way of thinking of Parisians would drive me nuts.

    I think coming and spending 2-3 weeks each year is the best option right now.

    I’m off to Italy later this week and see how I feel.

    I love that you are showing BOTH sides of Paris — life here is more than The Seine, croissants and great wine.

    PS: I wish you the best for the New Year!

    • Hi Krizia! I hope you are enjoying your stay, even if it has led to your epiphany about how Paris is, well, a little crazy-making when taken in daily-life doses! 😉 It’s certainly not a place I would have chosen, as I have written on here, but I know it has chosen me. I think it is teaching me a lot to be here. I guess my feeling is that if you are meant to be here for the longer term, then you will be. It’s certainly not a bad option to only be in Paris a few weeks a year, though! Ohhh — Italy. Now there’s a place I would enjoy visiting. I hope you have a good time and gain some perspective about Paris Living in the process. Thanks for coming by to let me know that I am doing a good job of showing more than one facet of Paris. It is a dynamic and interesting city, certainly multi-dimensional, and not just in the things one can find in the 6th Arrondissement. 😉

      Thanks for the New Year wishes, and a Happy New Year to you, too!

  11. patricia

    Hi Karin,

    I found your blog through Sion’s “paris (im)perfect”, read some of the comments of your introductory post, and I have to thank all of you guys to make me NOT feel like an alien. Because I too have a hard time with this city everybody seems to lOOooOoove and envy. It’s definitely worth quite a few visits or short stays, but it’s certainly not a love at first sight for my Franco-North-American self 😉

    Off to discovering your blog!


    • Hi Patricia!

      Thank you for reading and commenting, and I’m so glad you did. 🙂 Yes, good ole Paris has her charms, but man is she hard to get along with sometimes. And I knowwwwwww, even after 3.5 years of living here, I still cross my eyes at how much some people get all worked up about this city, lol. Crazy.

      I love Sion, I love her blog, and I’m glad you found me through her. She is a terrific person, inside and out!

      I’ve been slacking on this blog. Your comment and subscription reminds me that I really need to get on the stick with plans I have for this place! January in Paris is not the best time to find one’s mojo, though, I have to say, hahaha.

      Take care & Happy Reading.
      Thanks again,

  12. ileana renfroe

    I’m visiting again next month and want to explore Paris, but not the usual touristy places. I have enjoyed reading some of your comments. Any suggestions on places to go or things to do during the day while my daugther is at work. I’m looking for quaint out of the way places (cafe, antiques, gardens, architecture, etc)

    • Wonderful that you are going to be here again Ileana! I would say that wherever you happen to be staying, just start exploring and let the city happen to you! Head out the door and wander. Another way to explore out-of-the-way places is to walk in the in the “outer arrondissements” — the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 15th, 18th, 19th and 20th — parts of the 17th, too. Almost all the famous places in Paris are in the 1st-8th arrondissements and the 16th. Here in the 19th, we have the Parc des Buttes Chaumont (which many, many people say feels out too far “out of the way,” but they report they are SO glad they visit when they do). There are cafés surrounding the park which are great to stop in and relax (especially as it is still cold in March). Check out my friend DeeBee’s site Travel France Online’s page on Paris. She has a lot of great places listed that are not all the usual hot spots. One area I really have come to appreciate a lot is the area around Gambetta in the 20th. It’s near Père Lachaise. But going up and down the rue des Pyrénées is really fun and interesting — of some of the side streets I have seen many interesting shops, including antique shops. I hope this gives you a bit of a start.

      Have a terrific trip, and thank you for leaving a note here. 🙂
      Paris Karin

  13. Paris! French culture! Reading and writing! Clearly, I have a lot to look forward to here 😀

    • Thanks, Julie. 🙂 Another blog friend of mine recommended your blog and so I subbed! Unfortunately, I have had to leave Paris, abruptly and on short notice this summer, and I don’t know when/if I will be returning. So An Alien Parisienne is on a bit of a hiatus. I am in Denver now, and once the dust settles may decide to start another blog up here — I have been blogging since 2004, so it is definitely a part of my life that I don’t leave for very long! 😀

      I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog in the meantime! Maybe get some of my blogging mojo back. 😉
      Be well!

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