A love affair with Paris is not an easy one. At first glance, it’s almost impossible not to be seduced by its glamour, night-life, architecture, art and culture. But as with so many beautiful things, there is the danger of being swept off of one’s feet, caught up in a haze of romance, only to be left bitterly disappointed. This, for me, is a weekly occurrence.
Perhaps the biggest challenge is having the energy and time to get the most out of the relationship. When I was an Erasmus student, living on the outskirts all I had was time. I made the effort to come into the city for all night parties, brisk riverside walks, evening meals, trips to the museums, strolls along the Champs Elysees…. and Paris gave me love in return.
It’s difficult to say whether Paris really is a city of love (personally many counter-arguments come to mind) but it is certainly a city filled with lovers. Everywhere you look there are couples wandering along hand in hand or caught in an embrace, kissing on the metro… I often forget that once upon a time, I was loved up walking through the cobbled streets of Montmartre, arm in arm with my beau.
Life in Paris, both then and now, has given me so many stories to share with friends back home (mostly not the kind of thing you’d tell your grandkids in years to come!) and more importantly many beautiful; or at least happy memories that bring a smile to my face and excitement to conversation with those who were there at that epoque as we recall good times over drinks… reminiscing over a time of endless nights and glorious days, when taking the metro was still an adventure and seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkle was a rare delight. I never did write a blog or even keep a diary back in the whirlwind of Erasmus life, despite having so much to write about. The people I met, the energy I had, the close band of friends that although we knew it was for a short time only became like a family. Maybe I was too busy living in the moment, visiting Mont Saint-Michel, an unforgettable voyage to La Bretagne, a romantic break to Montpellier and countless experiences along the way.
These days as a student with a full time office job, I don’t have the time or the energy for much more than ‘metro-boulot-dodo’ thus some weeks the enchantment of Paris is lost on me. However true to form, like that guy that calls you, just when you were ready to give up on him, Paris catches you off guard sharing one of it’s infinite secrets and offering a fine selection of fine potential suitors all at once -thankfully not a single one uttered the dreaded words “you know ze French kiss yes?… iin France iit ez betterrr!”
In any case (and in the words of Will Young) I think I better leave right now, before I fall any deeper for this wonderful city.