There is probably no other city in the world with as many myths as Paris. I mean, Paris itself is a myth. At least in my world, where I grew up reading Dumas’ novels about musketeers, eating cakes named after Napoleon and listening to Edith Piaf. By the time I finally got to see Paris, I had a very clear image of it in my head. It was glorious; the air filled with best of French perfume, streets filled with elegant and fashionable people and soft melodic love songs. It was full of macarons, champagne and glitter. That’s how I envisioned Paris being absolutely perfect in being Paris.
Yes, I am one of those people, who gets called by friends in pitiful voices “a hopeless romantic” and gets criticized all the time for being too emotional , too naïve, too demanding, too honest, too kind, too helpful, too caring and you know all the things that are good per se, but no longer good, when you have too much of them. But one more thing I don’t fall short of is trust in life, and life brought me to Paris. And I hate to disappoint you, but Paris was far from perfect.
Parisians were careless about me, the lost traveler, in their preoccupation with their superiority and they were good at it. Tourists were ridiculous, metro carriages crowded, queues long , streets dirty. In short it was nothing like my perfect Paris. It was different and somehow even better. It came with fresh baguettes at the bakery next door, picnics by Seine, rock concerts, jazz evenings, hidden treasures, grotesque art pieces, cheap books, many cats and champagne.
It filled my lungs with air of youthfulness, creativity and awesomeness. I gasped it greedily, not just understanding, but sensing why Paris has been an inspiration to millions of others. I breathed in Parisian air, smiled at Parisians, allowed myself to be too young, too emotional, too naïve, too fearless, too reckless and a daydreamer. Because in Paris I finally knew ” I am not here to be perfect, I am here to be my perfectly imperfect self “, just like Paris does.
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