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Published: September 7th 2008
Nous sommes le premier septembre. It is a sad day for me, for it is the day that I must finally say goodbye to this amazing city after two beautiful months.
This last week has seen Parisians slowly trickling back into the city from August vacances. Each day I see gradually more and more locals returning on the RER/metro from Roissy, Nord, Lyon, Montparnasse, with their luggage in tow and a grimace on their face. The trees in the street, which were a rich green when I first arrived at the end of June, have now shades of red and yellow mixed into their leaves which have begun to float down onto the streets. My usual boucherie has reopened and has started supplying me with my roast chicken again; even the Chinese take out place is back in action. My yellow jacket has been getting much more use as the thermometer slowly creeps back down.
Somehow my time in Paris didn't feel like vacation, or travel, or regular life. It was something of a mix of all of the above. I didn't feel like a tourist, but I didn't feel like a local either. Since I spent a good
two months there, rented an apartment, and actually was friends with local Parisiens, I feel like I've earned the right to a List off the top of my head.
The Best of Paris:
- Les jardins. I saw somewhere that Paris boasts something likr 433 parks and gardens. I'm not sure if it's true, but the parks and gardens I saw are by far the best kept, most well manicured, most atmospheric of any city I have been in.
- the Walkability of the city. Nothing like wandering and getting lost in a new arrondisement on a warm day or a breezy day.
- French DJs. I am converted. I am a follower for life.
- the Seine. Dreaming, sharing, talking away the night, all with a bottle of French wine on the side.
- the language. Cliche, cliche I know.
- French men.
The Bad of Paris:
- People watching. A bit is OK, but the French really overdo it. I know this is a "Best of" for many people, but I just don't like being on either side. Who likes to be stared at while walking in the street by a collection of 30 people whose
heads all rotate in stride with your walk across? And as for me, I don't have nearly that much interest at passing strangers' lives when I am sitting there with a friend whom I care to converse with.
- Feminine, hipster French men. I do not like it when your pants are tighter than mine. I do not like it if I cannot confirm your heterosexuality solely by sight.
- Les touristes. Get your ass out of my face, please.
- the smoking. Crinkle your nose in contempt, or smoke cigarettes - your choice. You CAN'T DO BOTH!
- the Laziness, the indifference, the lack of customer care.
I think I really fell in love with Paris, and I'm not even a romantic person. It really just is THAT beautiful. I will without a doubt be back. I am sad to leave, but Jerusalem is calling me.
"Souvenir" in French also means "memory." I add to this entry pictures of all my fondest, most familiar, and most memorable parts of the Paris that I came to know.
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