They say Paris is the city of love, and it is, even if only a mirage. It is easy to fall in love in Paris, the city is rich with history and is romanticized through proper marketing. You have the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Pont des Arts and Notre Dame. These attractions were worth seeing, but my heart was in Montmarte, where the fabulous life of the fictional character Amélie Poulain resides. Maybe I should’ve known for that very reason that when I left Paris, the smoke and mirrors and camera tricks would stop working and any sort of summer romance would too when I left the city.
I thought Paris would be overrated, but it wasn’t. I fell for the egg, cheese and bacon crêpes that I made into a breakfast staple and the speculoos macarons. Café des 2 Moulins and crème brûlée. The eclectic street art amongst pathways. The history of the city knowing great writers and artists of our time once thrived in this very city.
One late night while walking the streets of Paris, I was approached by a woman speaking to me in French. I responded with “je ne…” struggling to say je ne comprends pas to tell her I don’t understand, but anxiety lies in my ability to speak a different language and I couldn’t spit it out. “Oh, American?” she said. She spoke in English and said she was liked my outfit, is a stylist, and asked what brand my jacket was. I felt rather accomplished, complimented on my attire in the city known for its fashion, especially with my backpacker wardrobe.
Despite the reputation, the French were some of the nicest people I’ve met. I was even inspired to learn French again.
J’adore Paris, even if good beer is hard to find. Hey, at least they have good food!