Everyone was looking for something. As if there were a hundred check boxes that each had to be filled in. So many stereotypes, so much hype. Yet, there still was magic. Something in the air. Something I really liked. Could it be a forced feeling? Like so many others around me, I had to like the city?
These were my first hidden emotions as I arrived in Paris and started wondering around. My sister, traveling with me, must have been feeling the same. With so much praise about Paris, la ville d’amour et des poets, we just had to be crazy that we hadn’t a crash on the city as soon as we landed there. But Paris, unfortunately, was a small disappointment.
At least at the beginning.
It was only after the first couple of days that we were there, when we really started to enjoy the city. And it was only then that we managed to confess to each other that until that point, well, Paris was not living up to the hype.
I can’t really remember when everything started to change. It is after all almost four years since then.
Was it when we visited the Cartier Latin? Or Pompidou et Marais? Could it be when we walked around ile de la cite when the weather had this wonderful bright sun? At the musee d’Orsay? When I saw an exhibition of my favourite Doisneau? I cannot really tell. It could also be when we just got out of the metro station at Montmartre.
Oh Montmartre… I went there, feeling that I had to compete with all the photos in my beloved photography books and I miserably failed.
Who cares? C’est la vie!
Instead, I enjoyed the walks, the art, the little coffee shops, les parisiennes speaking french and the lovely lovely japanese girls (figured they gave them a visa only if they were above a standard of beauty) and oh! les croissantes! Bien sur, les croissantes!
Thinking out loud, in the end was Paris the city of love?
I am not really sure if I can answer this question. It felt as if it were. But while you could “smell” that everyone was either trying to answer the same question or trying to find someone to fall in love with, the only true answer is that eventually you could fall in love with Paris itself!
Could I live in Paris? Now that is the million dollar question and not if it was the city of love. I know not… la Seine is not the sea and I am an islander. But… heck, it was as close as it can get to a place I would consider spending a serious serious amount of my time. Maybe I’ll return sooner rather than later.
Oh…. Paris Mon Amour!