An Irish student living in Paris has gone viral after sharing the downside to the city – and what it’s really like to do an ‘Emily in Paris’.
Mandy Cherie, 22, originally from Donegal, has lived in the French capital for the last three years – studying business and marketing, alongside the language of love.
But while young people are romanticising 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 cracked up to be.
Taking to TikTok, the young woman has shared several clips about the dirt, rampant pickpockets and weekly protests – with one of the videos racking up 8.9 million views with 1.4 million likes so far.
While 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 been living in Paris for the past three years, and has been dubbed the real life Emily in Paris
In 2020, the show about how American girl Emily, played by Lilly Collins, pictured, moved to the French capital was a huge hit for Netflix
Sure, you might have a romance or two, à la Emily – but be prepared for dog poo ‘all over’ the streets and holding your breath through a stench of smoke while en route to your date, Mandy warned.
And you might struggle as an expat, as Mandy said it’s ‘hard to find jobs and housing as a foreigner’.
There’s also the high cost of living and ‘mean Parisians’ to battle.
‘A lot of people think it’s going to be the most romantic and perfect place, like what we see in Emily in Paris,’ Mandy said.
Mandy, pictured, complained about ‘mean Parisians’ and bad service, left, in her video, and also said Paris was rife with pickpockets
‘While that aspect does exist, it’s also important to bear in mind that it’s a real city with real life problems.
‘Every aspect of life is slowed down by bureaucracy, for example, and one of the biggest obstacles to overcome is learning the language, which can often feel overwhelming.’
In one TikTok video, Mandy walks the streets of the city dressed in a chic outfit including a baby yellow jacket, cream jumper, leather skirt and trendy patterned tights.
The Eiffel Tower can be seen in the background as she shakes her head and details her annoyances with the city, saying they give her ‘the ick’ – a term to describe something that makes you cringe.
The Irish woman in Paris complained about the high cost of Paris living and the fact there was dog poo everywhere
Mandy, pictured, said Parisians were ‘rude’ and that the city’s apartments were ‘tiny’ in one of her follow-up videos
Mandy, pictured by the metro, left, joked learning French was one of the bad things about living in France
In follow-up videos, Mandy details more issues with her current city, such as the ‘tiny apartments, drama in the Metro, rude Parisians’ and the fact that you’ll have to learn speaking French.
But the insight hasn’t put off hardcore France fans, with one person commenting: ‘I’m still going to Paris’ in caps.
‘Nah, I’m staying in Britain we safe here,’ wrote someone else.
‘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 person.
The Irish woman, pictured, said there were protests happening weekly and that the city smelled of smoke
Mandy, pictured, said it was hard to find a job and accommodation in Paris and that there were lots of ‘drama’ happening in the metro
Mandy said: ‘It [the original video] went way more viral than I had expected.
‘A lot of people took it as me hating on Paris but that is not the case at all.
‘A lot of people come to Paris and they expect it to be like a Pinterest board, being totally unprepared for the not-so-romantic aspects of the city.
‘We rarely see the pick-pockets, the crazy things that happen in the metro or the day-to-day problems talked about on social media or in movies.
‘I wish more people could understand that you can love a city even in spite of its flaws.’
The 22-year-old Irish woman also said there were good reasons to want to move to Paris like she had
Pictured: Mandy said people should follow their dreams and said Paris had given her an opportunity to learn a new language and culture
The 22-year-old Irish expat hailed Paris as a fashion and culture capital of the world in one of her videos
The Irish woman said she fell in love with Paris and the lifestyle and had enjoyed all the experiences it offered her (pictured in Paris)
Mandy originally moved to Paris as part of an Erasmus programme with her university, where she was studying French.
She realised she was ‘really in love’ with the city and lifestyle, and enjoyed the new experiences and ‘amazing’ people it offered.
In a separate clip, the real life Emily in Paris has also shared why people should move to the French capital, including the ‘amazing nights out’ and the incredible fashion and culture.
People said they still wanted to go to Paris in spite of Mandy’s playful smears. Some joked Britain was safer
Mandy has been living in Paris since 2017, when she moved there for the Erasmus exchange programme
While she went viral for criticising the French capital, Mandy, pictured, said there were still a lot of things she liked about Paris
The Irish born Parisian said she adapted to live in the French capital and that the good sides outweighed the bad sides
‘Real’ Emily in Paris from Donegal says French city is full of pickpockets and mean people