So I got asked the other night if I liked Paris or not and this got me thinking about what it is I actually like about possibly one of the most written about cities in the world. There are so many clichéd reasons to love the city of Light and they’re the reasons people visit on their romantic breaks. But I think the residents of the capital have different reasons why they enjoy their city. I’ve previously described my admiration and enjoyment of the novel Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert hence this apology for yet again mentioning it. There is a great part in the book where see talks about living in Rome and she talks about how living somewhere is different to visiting it. Some things are just different when you are there living them and you tend to appreciate different aspects of the place when it is a part of your daily life. Thus I’ve compiled a list of things about Paris that are better when you live there than when you’re spending a weekend there.
· Baguettes – the quintessential French foodstuff. They just aren’t the same when they are fresh out of the oven and dipped in baked Camembert. You don’t get to savour these as much as the locals do when you are staying in a hotel as not many are fitted out with a cheeky oven to bake your own cheese (on a side note neither is my flat, disappointingly).
· The museums – I love a gallery. But I don’t think I really started liking them until I got to Paris. I’m not really sure what the reason for that is, maybe it’s something to do with trying to make the most of everything while I’m there. I think that you don’t really get the benefit of all the museums and art galleries when you visit for a holiday. You spend all this time shuffling round behind the swathes of tourists on guided tours so you don’t get to savour in the art. The Louvre is so much more magical at half nine on a Thursday evening – the time when your standard tourist digs into their generic chocolate mousse in an “authentic” restaurant complete with dodgy service.
· The Seine – Alright it’s a bit smelly and a rather attractive shade of brown, but there isn’t much better than grabbing a pack of beers in the summer and taking them down to Ile De La Cîté and having a drinking and a gossip with mates as the sun goes down, even despite the occasional rodent!
I’m rather looking forward to going back to Paris this Friday after spending the holidays at home. Hopefully I’ll be able to add a few more things to this list after finishing my second term of my second year at uni. I know I made the best decision when I clicked that button to apply to ULIP, so hopefully more crazy stories are to come along with maybe a bit of work thrown in.