When you visit a place you have always been dreaming about, it often occurs that your expectations were much better than reality. I recently asked a friend of mine how she liked her one month spent in the Big Apple, and she told me:
“It was great! By the way, now I know it’s not a good place for me to live”
For me it sounded like “I liked it but I didn’t like it”, yet I later understood that:
A) she liked the city
B) however, she realized that it’s not her place on Earth.
It’s something I never experienced when it comes to Paris.
Of course, there are no dreamy artists painting the city’s panorama with crispy baguettes on every corner, and yes, Paris is far more multicultural than I thought. It is said that some people get a serious depression shortly after visiting, as the capital of France can in no way be compared to their dreamy vision of it. Also, the amount of classy Parisiennes is pretty arguable, yet I found some stunning worshippers of effortless chic I will probably look up to forever.
Paris is better than its stereotype mostly because it’s real. During my stay here, I have exchanged all fancy eclairs and strawberry macarons for walking about the streets of Marais and the best falafel I’ve ever eaten. I guess I loved the city because it’s a mosaic of everything, which somehow corresponds to my interests and ideas. I know, I know. Every city gives you countless opportunities to do everything you want. However, it was a little surprising to me that Paris is more than charming white buildings of Saint Germain-des-Pres. You may spend the whole day eating mousse au chocolat and admiring the paintings at Musée D’Orsay, or rest in the Luxembourg gardens all day with a short break for tapas (very French indeed).
If you think I am writing this while eating a croissant from a nearby boulangerie, then you can’t be more wrong. I am sitting at a bus stop in my rainy hometown, and I’ve just heard two people talking in French. As you’ve just concluded, it was their conversation I could almost understand thanks to the past months spent in Institut Français, which reminded me of my recent trip.
I lost a conclusion somewhere, and it was that many things we are looking forward to do not meet our expectations, but it doesn’t mean they cannot exceed them.