A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about preparation

Can I go Yet?

No. No I can not. Stop asking.

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I'm ready to be done with Paris. It's such a shitty thing to say, really. People come from all around the world, oftentimes saving for years, just to see this city. But my Paris is less drinking champagne atop the Eiffel Tower and more drinking champagne in my bathtub. It is shoving my way into the crowded metro, elbowing the occasional pick pocket, and dodging strollers on the crosswalks. Don't get me wrong, the city is gorgeous. Even the most mundane buildings usually boast some architectural flair and if you're looking for sassy bitches (of either gender) believe me when I tell you the search can end here. Add to that the excellent food, cheap wine, efficient public transit and Paris has a lot going for it.

Paris has too much going for it. It's easy to become complacent and lazy. That laziness can, and often does, mutate itself into an almost palatable level of disdain. Parisians have an awful worldwide reputation for being rude little pricks, which in a lot of cases is entirely justified. Yet one must realize that this city slings an equal level of bullshit to counteract it's beauty. If you stay here long enough, you're bound to build up a social plaque. Your face will take on an almost formidable blankness as you ride the RER. You will need to learn a certain level of social aggression. Which is not the same as violence. In America verbal fights can quickly devolve into physical altercations. In Paris this rarely occurs. Rather, you must learn to state what you think, state what you want, and be ready to hold to your ground regardless of how ridiculous the situation becomes. Case in point: I once saw a man raise hell at a checkout stand because the cashier refused to give him an extra plastic bag. This argument carried on for a good ten minutes as the cashier continued to check out others. The situation could have been resolved easily and quickly. But that would have meant an act of either contrition or submission. Did I mention there's not a proper French equivalent for the word awkward?

It's funny at first. Then it becomes exhausting. Instead of fighting against it any longer, pretending that at some point the city is going to magically just snap out of it, I'm uprooting. I'll sail across Africa, landing in Nairobi. I'll begin a new life. I'll go on treasure hunts. I'll drink too much wine. No doubt I will wake more than one morning filled with regret and shame, bargaining with God for just one more shot. I will later tell these stories to friends in bars. We will all laugh and I'll order another round of martinis. I have a goal. It is neither noble nor distinguished, but it exists and that's all I need.

January 20th can not get here fast enough.

Posted by LyseP 14:11 Archived in France Tagged paris the preparation 2012 glob trot Comments (0)

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