After two months in France, two months in Paris, I can look back at my time there. I have always been the first one to criticize Paris, the métro, le train, Parisians and everything I could. And now I left… wow ! I love Paris so much !
From hate …
When I lived in Paris and not in Kuwait, Paris was kind of hell for me. I needed to take the train to go to Saint Lazare. It takes twenty-three minutes, and we have one train every twenty minutes. Often late, sometimes cancelled without any reason, it’s annoying to take the train.
After reaching Saint Lazare, I have to take the métro to go to a place more interesting. Most of the time, I need one hour to go somewhere nice. One hour to go, one hour to come back. Honestly I mostly thought twice about it before going somewhere. Adding two hours in the public transportations for everything you want to do is not really encouraging !
The last train for my city is at 00 h 56. But if I want to be honest, I’ve never felt safe in those trains after the sunset. It’s nice during summer but in winter… days are really short ! Before Uber, a taxi G7 asked me almost 100 euros to take me back home.
Daily life and tourism share the city
In Paris, you can feel a weird atmosphere. I think it’s the same weird atmosphere in all the capitales cities. Between daily life and tourism, it’s hard to be all together in good terms. If a Parisian is late for a meeting, he will be on nerves being behind a tourist looking at the map in the middle of the sidewalk ! And let’s be honest… Is there something worse than bumping into a tourist’s bag pack ?
I used to complains, to run, to walk fast. I couldn’t handle to miss my métro or when the doors were closing in front of me. Cursing and being mad was my daily routine in Paris. And I used to spend most of my time in the underground than outside enjoying the sunny Parisian weather.
And obviously ! I always avoided the touristic places ! Eiffel Tower ?? pff never ! The Champs Elysees ? I’d rather die. Montmartre ? Come on guys ! I am note Amelie Poulain ! Saint Michel ? Ah ! Ah ! Seriously ?
It’s true ! You had more chances to find me in the 19th district with other Parisians than in the middle of all the tourists !
… to love
And one day, nine months after leaving Paris, I came back for summer. And I really loved it !
Ok, let’s be honest : the biggest avantage is this one. Parisians always leave Paris for summer. Less Parisians means less complains. The city seems full of happy people ! People looks happy to be where they are, they choose to be in Paris. During summer, there is more people who decided to come than people who have to be in Paris. So, the atmosphere looks lighter and better ! Or maybe it’s because, me, I decided to be in Paris ?
I feel frustrated in Kuwait because I can’t walk as much as I want. When I am in France, I take the train only to go to Saint Lazare. After this, I only walk. Walking, walking, walking and sometimes I take the bus. I confess, I am one of them… Sometimes I aù looking at the map, in the middle of the sidewalk. Time is not a problem, so I walk slowly… I get lost, I look at the beauty of the city, I enjoy the architecture and I appreciate the blue sky.
No public transportations
And I become a real tourist ! I want to see the Eiffel Tower ! At night, but also during the day. Let’s go to the Champs Elysées ! I want to see Notre Dame and I want to walk on the Ile Saint Louis ! Let’s do my portrait in Montmartre and I want to drink a Bubble Tea in Saint-Anne ! I also look at the advices for tourists and I never forget that what I love the most in Paris is to walk… to go anywhere.
After the World Cup, I went on the Champs Elysees to wait for the French team ! And people who know me well knows that I really hate crowded places.
One day, I even took the big Hop On Hop Off bus ! It is the most touristic thing ever but … I loved it so much ! I was like a kid. Going around Paris, stopping wherever I want, walking around, taking another bus was a nice experience. And from the top of this big bus, you have a really different vision of the street.
When I am in Paris, I walk, I take pictures, I take selfies with my friend or my mom, I ask people to take pictures of me. I live like a tourist, and I am discovering my own city.
A new look on the city
Coming to Paris as a tourist made me see the beauty of the city. It’s a city with a lot of cities in it. Everything changes in Paris when you take another sidewalk. Montmartre is a really beautiful area but I always prefer a night at Oberkampf. When you are in Grands Boulevards, you will see men in tuxedo drinking a glass of wine or a beer straight after work.
When you are a tourist in Paris, you have time to observe everything. We can enjoy the beauty and the elegance of Parisians girls. Don’t try to do an eye contact, you will never have a look from a Parisian girl. We can also see people running to have the métro and their face when the doors close in front of them.
But Paris, I leave you.
Paris, for me, is like a boyfriend who is too different for me. I love her but at the same time, I hate her. This city is like… it’s like the first boy who teach me how to love. He is the first I felt in love with but not the one I spent my life with. Well, Paris is the same.
It’s my teenage love. I loved in Paris but I also had my heart broke. I have memories everywhere in Paris. Laughs at Eglise de la Trinité and tears in the Canal Saint Martin. In Paris, I met people who are today really important to me… and others that I forgot.
I love Paris but I hate the smell in the métro. The Parisian architecture is amazing but I hate the fact that it’s a city-museum. I love to walk in Paris but I hate how we don’t treat well our homeless people. I love Parisians people but only when they are far !
Definitely, Paris is my favorite city in the world. I know the Parisian life so I can enjoy the touristic life. I am a tourist who knows how it works. And I think that’s exactly why I deeply love Paris … during holidays !
And you ? Is there a city you have a particular relationship with ?