October 29, 2007
So Paris was both my first and last stop in Europe. i couldn’t believe how much i had already experienced…it felt weird to be back at the starting point. and while i found Paris beautiful and a splendid place to walk around i was a bit overwhelmed by it’s never ending lines of buildings and streetways. and tons of people!
i constantly wondered…doesn’t anyone work around here??! i mean…i just want some walking space. of course i did enjoy the incredible food…and i didn’t even go for the fancy stuff! but of man…every time i walked past a bakery i was drawn in by the glorious smells of fresh bread and pastries…mmmm. i was pretty much like a cartoon character swept off my feet drifting in on the delicious scent waves…which is much like a sound wave but much better if you’re in paris with even a slight inclination for food. and it’s a backpackers delight! i had one sandwich that had enough brie to make another sandwich with…yuuuummm. i also tested out the crepes…they pass. chocolate and banana definitely wins the favorite. also tried the equivalent of a french quasadilla…enough cheese to feed a family of five…for a week. hmmm…definitely go for the sweet variety! well…i suppose it seems right that in a blog on Paris half of it relates to food.
So…Paris was a beautiful place of course, but so much of it just seems a bit cliche. but don’t get me wrong…i did really enjoy myself…just think that maybe it would be better with a travel buddy…the city is just so massive….nice to have some company. luckily i did end up meeting a cool guy while sitting on a bench near the Eiffel Tower. a fellow traveler, we spent the next couple of days seeing some sights and a must in pairs, art museums….impressive of course.
i also went on an amazing bike tour…Paris by night. it is an incredible city when all lit up…we rode all around the streets and sites at night and ended up on a cruise boat with wine that tasted much better after the first glass. the tour definitely made the trip there worth it. all the cafe bars were lovely as well. i felt a sudden need to read, write and watch…to sit in a cafe for hours and all the while sip casually on coffee. oh how Parisian.
as for the rude/aloof stereotype…almost all people i came in contact with were quite friendly and helpful…as long as you make an attempt people were nice as anyone you’d find in the service industry. and i’m sure it’s gets annoying dealing with the thousands of tourists who blatantly have no respect for another language and culture (especially in a place that takes it so seriously!…they have a group of people in their government dedicated to preserving the french language!! so ya…it’s a big deal). one woman even approached my friend and i to offer help when we looked slightly confused as to where we were going. the stereotype threat will kill ya…please try to look beyond it and you’ll find a much richer, dynamic and positive experience….same for any new place you visit!
the city obviously has so much to offer…but it just didn’t have quite the right vibe for my punk style. i definitely could appreciate it…but unlike many other people i’ve met, i didn’t have a burning desire to run home to learn french…and i mean “those french have a different word for everything…” so that’d be a whole task in itself…au revoir for now!