An Irish college student living in Paris has gone viral after sharing the downside of the city – and what it’s really like doing an ‘Emily in Paris’.
Mandy Cherie, 22, originally from Donegal, has lived in the French capital for the past three years and has studied business and marketing in addition to the language of love.
But as young people romanticize the city on social media, following the release of Netflix’s Emily in Paris, starring Lily Collins, Mandy has revealed that living in the City of Lights isn’t all it’s about.
On TikTok, the young woman has shared several clips about the dirt, the rampant pickpockets and weekly protests – with one of the videos 8.9 million views and 1.4 million likes so far.
Although she had some grievances with the French capital, Mandy also said she loved the French lifestyle and fashion and invited others to visit Paris.
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Mandy Cherie, 22, from Donegal, Ireland, has lived in Paris for three years and is called real life Emily in Paris
In 2020, the show about how the American girl Emily, played by Lilly Collins, in the picture, moved to the French capital, was a big hit for Netflix.
Sure, you might have some romance, à la Emily – but be prepared for dog poo ‘all over the place’ on the street and hold your breath through a stench of smoke as you head for your date, Mandy warned.
And as an expat, you may have a hard time, as Mandy said that it is ‘difficult to find a job and housing as a foreigner’.
There is also the high cost of living and ‘mean Parisians’ to fight.
“A lot of people think it will be the most romantic and perfect place, as we see in Emily in Paris,” Mandy said.
Mandy, in the picture, complained about ‘mean Parisians’ and bad service, left in her video, also saying Paris was full of pickpockets
While that aspect exists, it’s also important to keep in mind that it’s a real city with real problems.
“For instance, every aspect of life is slowed down by bureaucracy, and one of the biggest obstacles to overcome is learning the language, which can often feel overwhelming.”
In a TikTok video, Mandy walks the city streets dressed in a chic outfit, including a baby yellow jacket, cream sweater, leather skirt and trendy patterned tights.
The Eiffel Tower can be seen in the background shaking her head describing her annoyances with the city and saying they give her ‘the ick’ – a term to describe something that makes you cringe.
Irish woman in Paris complained about the high cost of living in Paris and the fact that there was dog poo everywhere
Mandy, in the photo, said Parisians were ‘rude’ and the city’s apartments were ‘small’ in one of her follow-up videos
Mandy, pictured by the metro on the left, joked that learning French was one of the bad things about living in France
In follow-up videos Mandy describes more problems with her current city, such as the ‘small apartments, drama in the metro, rude Parisians’ and the fact that you have to learn to speak French.
But the insight didn’t deter France’s hardcore fans, with one person commenting, ‘I’m still going to Paris’ in caps.
“No, I’m staying in Britain, we’re safe here,” someone else wrote.
‘I love Paris: only 2 problems, 1: there are only apartments. 2: if you don’t have money, you can’t survive a week in beauty there, ‘wrote another.
The Irish woman, pictured, said there were weekly protests and the town smelled of smoke
Mandy, in the photo, said it was difficult to find a job and accommodation in Paris and that there was a lot of ‘drama’ going on in the metro
Mandy said, “It [the original video] went viral a lot more than I expected.
‘A lot of people take it as if I hated Paris, but that’s not the case at all.
A lot of people come to Paris expecting it to be some sort of Pinterest board, totally unprepared for the not-so-romantic aspects of the city.
‘We rarely see the pickpockets, the crazy things that happen on the subway or the daily problems that are talked about on social media or in movies.
“I wish more people could understand that you can love a city despite its flaws.”
The 22-year-old Irish woman also said there were good reasons for wanting to move to Paris like her
Pictured: Mandy told people to follow their dreams and said Paris had given her the opportunity to learn a new language and culture
The 22-year-old Irish expat praised Paris in one of her videos as the fashion and culture capital of the world
The Irish woman said she fell in love with Paris and the lifestyle and enjoyed all the experiences it offered her (pictured in Paris)
Mandy originally moved to Paris as part of an Erasmus program with her university, where she studied French.
She realized she was ‘really in love’ with the city and the lifestyle, and enjoyed the new experiences and ‘wonderful’ people it offered.
In a separate clip, real life Emily in Paris has also shared why people should move to the French capital, including the ‘great nights out’ and the incredible fashion and culture.
People said they wanted to go to Paris despite Mandy’s playful smears. Some joked that Britain was safer
Mandy has lived in Paris since 2017 when she moved there for the Erasmus exchange program
While she went viral for criticizing the French capital, Mandy said, in the photo, that there were still many things she liked about Paris
The Irish-born Parisian said she had adapted to living in the French capital and that the good sides outweigh the bad sides