In the UK, getting beer is simple. You enter a pub, and go up to the bar, and ask someone to give you a beer. You give them some money, and they give you some change. In larger groups, you either use the rounds system (I bought you one, you'll get me one eventually) or the kitty (everyone chucks in a tenner or so, and drinks flow freely) to make things a little easier.
I'm in Paris for YAPC::Europe.
Here, and seemingly everywhere else on the bloody planet, you do not go to the bar. You sit around, possibly dehydratingly thirsty from a long wander around, say, the Pompidou (thanks, Celia) Center and Notre Dame, and wait for a waiter to come and ask your table if they want some beer.
You wait a little longer.
You begin to pass out from a lack of liquid.
Finally the waiter asks three tables full of Perl mongers how many drinks they require, and does the complex arithmetic of adding up how many Carlings, how many Kronenburgs, and handling the exceptions of the people who want Coke or something called 'limonade' which fails to sparkle.
Some time after this, you have to figure out an even more mindbendingly scary bistromathics problem where over 100 euros have been spent on a selection of drinks.
Perhaps you'd rather put money down to build up a kitty to pay? Oh, if you try that then you'll find that people forget your order. Or they'll bring a drink that's sealed within a cork and a lid and not open either until specifically asked to do so. (Of course, a British barman would have offered to do so, and even if they hadn't, you'd have to be pretty stupid not to insist on them doing so.) Maybe you'll just get fed up and go back to the hotel.
Other than that, Paris is very nice, thank you.