I asked Andi to do a guest post on Paris with some trepidation. The girl is so French, I was afraid it might be redundant for her to post on my blog.
If you have a look here, you can see that her blog is way more French than mine is and I’m the one that actually lives here (this irony shall be explained below). I suppose that’s easy with a French husband and a globe-trotting lifestyle.
I don’t know how I discovered Andi’s blog, but the first post I stumbled on was about Deauville, the very week we had just returned from there. So of course I felt something kindred going on. She was destined to be my guest.
You can learn about all the things she likes in her posts, J’adore, discover all the French things you’re not discovering by reading my blog (cough, cough) in French Friday, and just generally have an interesting read each time you click over.
Please do read her post here and then go have a look at her blog. Thanks for guesting Andi.
My Love Affair with Paris – Misadventures with Andi
You always remember your first love.
I discovered my passion for Paris on my first trip with my parents in July of 1989. My family was living in Madrid at the time and we did one of those classic European vacations where you go to as many places as you can in one vacation! We visited Spain, Andorra, Paris, Brugge (Belgium) where we had friends, Heidelberg (Germany) where we had friends, Interlaaken and Lucerne (Switzerland) and Milan. We stayed several days in Paris for the 200th anniversary of Bastille Day and visited the Louvre, Versailles, etc. It was a little taste, but it was enough to capture my heart and soul.
I believe that my love affair has lasted for as long as it has (30+ years) because Paris is my lover and not my spouse! I have never lived within her walls, felt bored by her offerings, or dissatisfied by her routine. I spent at least a weekend a month for three years being succumbed by her beauty, by her complexity, by her utter ‘joie de vivre.’ She is addicting but she cares not for you. There are so many that adore her that if you abandon her, she will move on to the next. And if you are like me, and cannot abandon her and continue to worship her at least once a year, you must share or risk not having any part of her at all.
For this Paris will reward you with a sense of timelessness which somehow coincides with her ever-changing landscape. New restaurants, stores and museums to explore without missing out on the old tried-and-true or in many cases, the ancient. Just breathing the air and walking her streets you can absorb her brilliance, feel your pulse beating at the same rhythm, smell her smells, taste her delights. And just when you are completely under her trance, she does something that reminds you that she is in charge: a grève générale (massive strike), vacances annuelles (annual vacation – everything closed the entire month of August), can’t get a taxi, indescribable odors on the metro… You have to accept all of her because she has no obligation to make you happy; she is the one dictating the terms.
There are many cities in the world to love, even cities with the same passionate energy that people covet and embrace, but for me, there is only one Paris.