Tuesday, October 8

in the city of paris

To quite a few, Paris equals fancy shmancy shopping, old-ish monuments and croissants. And that's it.
Let me tell you something: I haven't seen all of Paris (far from it!) but I've seen enough to get that it is so much more than an Eiffel Tower on a 1€ greeting card. Paris, just like most things, is a constellation of stories, a great big bunch of them, and if you take time to piece them all together, you've get the full picture. The real, honest picture of Paris.

Story 1
The wide eyed middle aged tourists Walking along the Seine. They're following a French tour-guide - she cannot be more than eighteen - who keeps on tucking a strand of blond hair behind her ear. "Here is one of the most romantic bridges in Paris" she says consulting her notebook. She looks up from it and pauses for effect: "It's really really romantic." The women smile widely and a sigh passes through them. The husbands roll their eyes and look at each other in exasperation, bonding over their wives obvious lack of competence. Was paying 24.50€ just to hear a young woman, three times younger than them, tell them how romantic a bridge is, really worth it?

Story 2
The pigeon's hop from one side of the road to another, hopeful for a little bit of food (they're not picky). The grandmas scrunch up their nose, "rats on wings", "pests", "flying vermin" they whisper and lead their grand-children away.

Homeless women, homeless men sit on one side of the road (or the other), hopeful for a little bit of food (they're not picky). In some cases, they clutch a dog or a baby to their chests. The grandmas scrunch up their nose, "fraud", "network of suspicious homeless people", "don't pay attention" they say - quite loudly I may add, pigeons don't have ears, but the homeless do - and lead their grand-children away.

Story 3
That little alley-way with a dozen of little markets, cafés and boutiques isn't always overlooked in Paris - the professional Parisians know that the magic happens behind the scenes, behind the tourist attractions. You've got the 'Dernier Bar Avant la Fin du Monde' (the 'Last Bar Before the End of the World'), the boulangerie, the traiteur, the boucher, the épicerie. In the boulangerie (bakery) for example, the baguettes are at 0,99€, which really doesn't amount to much at all. The bread is hard on the outside, and bouncy and soft in the inside. You know if it's a good baguette if when you tear of the end bit, they call it the crouton, it makes a satisfying crunch. Yes, bread has different sounds, or is that just me?

1 thoughts:

Thank you so much for taking the time to say 'hi'; it's great hearing from you. ❀