Posted by: vlibrizzi | May 20, 2009

Pas de Pedis a Paris

To celebrate my last day of class at the Sorbonne for this semester (I still can’t believe it’s over!), and to get some relaxation before hitting the books to prepare for my crazy 3 hour written final exam on Saturday (yikes!), some friends and I got pedicures in Paris today. 

To be honest, we’ve been looking for a place to get our nails done for what seems like months now. It has been a real source of frustration and confusion for me because, after all, pedicure and manicure are French words….but the French don’t seem to get them! 

For example, I went to one salon the other day to try to make a pedicure appointment and the woman at the reception desk looked at me as if I had two heads. She told me that one only gets a pedicure at a podiatrist! I tried to clarify for her that all I wanted to do was to get my toenails painted, and she said that they could do that, but as she answered, she gave me a very quizzical look. 

So, that got me wondering…what do the French women do? I guess the answer is that they paint their own nails, which is definitely more economical…but not very French. Seriously, where did the word “french manicure” come from? Do all French women have such sturdy hands that they can paint that little white line on the top of their own toenails? Do they teach this in elementary school along with coloring within the lines? 

Clearly, I was stumped. 

So, when a friend heard of a place near her house that she thought gave pedicures, we thought we had died and gone to heaven. 

But, we had another thing coming… 

The people who worked at the “salon” were very nice, and were really accomodating for us three women who showed up without appointments and who spoke very little French…but they just didn’t seem to know what they were doing. 

IMG_2582First, a man filled buckets (yes, actual buckets) with hot water for us to soak our feet in. The buckets were lined with plastic bags which he then tied around our feet to let them steam, I guess.

Then, after a few minutes of “steaming,” he removed the plastic bags and proceeded to start shaving the bottom of my friend’s foot (See photo to the left). Fully aware of the dangers of nail salons where they shave feet thanks to all the girly magazines I’ve read over the years, I quickly stopped the guy before he could touch the razor to my tootsies.  

Like the woman at the other salon, he too gave me a quizzical look and seemed flustered. He didn’t know what else to do. Apparently, their whole schtick is steaming and shaving.

So, he had another woman come over to give me a very long, and very nice foot massage. Which I definitely liked.

But then, it was done.  

I asked for polish, picked out a color, and found out later that polish costs extra. 

So I left the “salon” after an hour with nicely massaged feet, a shoddy polish job, and a pretty good story to tell all of you. All in a day’s work, I guess.


  1. This is the most bizarre thing. Ever.

    Where else in the world can you NOT get a normal pedicure?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: