Parisians ranked biggest moaners in France but is it fair?

Parisians have a reputation both abroad and around France for their habit of moaning and complaining and a new survey, albeit not a scientific one, suggests there may be some truth behind it.

Parisians ranked biggest moaners in France but is it fair?
Photo: AFP

Whether it’s ranting about train strikes or moaning about the size of the queue at the boulangerie or awful commute to work, Parisians have a reputation for loving a good grumble. And no more so than in France.

A new study albeit one that will hardy impress seasoned scientists and researchers suggests the French capital really is the crankiest city in the country.

The research by messaging app Mood Messenger looked at all the emojis included in text messages sent by hundreds of thousands of users around the country  over a six-month period and came to the conclusion that Paris really is the city of moan.

“We achieved this ranking by looking at real algorithms. But we’re not claiming to have done a sociological study,” the app founder Saïd Hadjiat told Le Parisien. “There’s a lot of ironic humour in our approach.”

Despite the lack of science behind the study, its conclusion may not surprise many.

But for some Parisians, complaining is somewhat of a badge of honour.

“It’s completely true”, French comedian Olivier Giraud told Le Parisien newspaper.

Giraud's hugely popular Paris show ‘How to become Parisian in one hour?’ mocks locals for their famous tendency to grumble. And his crowd are quite happy to be the butt of his jokes.

“I’ve never had a member of the audience come up to me and say, “You’re exaggerating, we’re not like that.” And nobody’s ever said to me, “We’re going to make an effort to change.” There’s a pride in being Parisian”.

That seems to be backed up by a 2010 survey by Le Figaro newspaper that asked thousands of Parisians what they thought of themselves. 

The most common attribute was “stressed” with some 23 percent of the capital's residents admitting they were a little highly strung. But 14 percent of respondents also confessed to being “grumpy”.

While the French might be known for their national motto “liberté, égalité, fraternité”, Parisians go by another motto: “Metro, boulot, dodo”. In other words their daily lives are just Metro, work then sleep which to them justifies being bit grouchy all time.

Elsewhere in France, the central, mountain city of Clermont-Ferrand made it to second place in the ranking. But for the city’s former deputy mayor Gilles-Jean Portejoie, complaining is as much of a sport as rugby.  

“In Clermont-Ferrand, we complain but we quickly forget about it, and it never gets nasty,” he told Le Parisien. “We’re furious if we lose a rugby match but will easily forgive and forget”.

On the contrary, residents of southern cities like Bordeaux and Toulouse are among the French people who send the least ‘cranky’ emojis.

For Saïd Hadjiat, head of the Marseille-based app behind the study, it seems a bit of vitamin D isn’t just good for your skin. “The sun must be important,” he smiled. “When we moan in the south, we express it in a different way, not with emojis but with banter”.

Here’s the whole list of cities as ranked by Mood Messenger

1. Paris

2. Clermont-Ferrand

3. Brest

4. Nancy

5. Le Mans

6. Grenoble

7. Dijon

8. Angers

9. Limoges

10. Besançon

11. Saint-Etienne

12. Caen

13. Lyon

14. Rouen

15. Tours

16. Rennes

17. Orléans

18. La Roche-sur-Yon

19. Lille

20. Aix-en-Provence

21. Saint-Nazaire

22. Niort

23. Poitiers

24. La Rochelle

25. Toulouse

26. Strasbourg

27. Bordeaux

28. Nîmes

29. Reims

30. Tourcoing

31. Pau

32. Nantes

33. Marseille

34. Nice

35. Amiens

36. Douai

37. Montpellier

38. Vincennes

39. Saint-Denis

40. Villeurbanne

41. Vitry-en-Artois

42. Epinal



by Charlotte Mason





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Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

Car, moped, public transport, or electric bicycle - which means of transport is the quickest way to get across Paris?

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

One intrepid reporter for French daily Le Parisien decided to find out. 

The challenge was simple. Which mode of transport would get the journalist from the heart of Fontenay-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs to the newspaper’s office on Boulevard de Grenelle, west Paris, fastest?

Over four separate journeys, each one in the middle of rush hour, the electric bicycle was quickest and easiest. More expensive than conventional bikes, electric bikes do come with a government subsidy.

The journey was described as ‘pleasant and touristy’ on a dry but chilly morning going via dedicated cycle lanes that meant the dogged journalist avoided having to weave in and out of traffic.

It took, in total, 47 minutes from start to finish at an average speed of 19km/h, on a trip described as “comfortable” but with a caveat for bad weather. The cost was a few centimes for charging up the bike.

In comparison, a car journey between the same points took 1 hour 27 minutes – a journey not helped by a broken-down vehicle. Even accounting for that, according to the reporter’s traffic app, the journey should – going via part of the capital’s southern ringroad – have taken about 1 hr 12.

Average speed in the car was 15km/h, and it cost about €2.85 in diesel – plus parking.

A “chaotic and stressful” moped trip took 1 hour 3 minutes, and cost €1.30 in unleaded petrol.

Public transport – the RER and Metro combined via RER A to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile then Metro line 6 to the station Bir-Hakeim – took 50 minutes door to door, including a 10-minute walk and cost €2.80. The journey was described as “tiring”.

READ ALSO 6 ways to get around Paris without the Metro