Hello ! If you saw me in the Paris métro today on my way to work, you would notice that I'm reading this book, which, after the Arden Shakespeare version of "Macbeth", makes for a most unusual change ! But you have to know that I once picked "I heart Paris" in a station while waiting for a train, it was Summer, I wanted an easy read, in English too .... and after arriving at my destination, I never finished it ! This time, I want to go to the end because I hate seeing unread books on my shelves !
Anyway, you know me, I stand by my choices, as unusual as they can be, and I assure you I don't even feel ashamed to be seen reading trash.
No, but when I took the book this morning, it was the title that made me tick because really, I don't always feel that I like Paris and it always surprises me that for so many people, especially abroad, it is a sort of Graal and the prospect of visiting it generates so much excitement.
I suppose that when you don't live here, refreshing the memory of the monuments,
or the stores,
is very pleasant from time to time and I plead guilty in showing you only the best aspects of it. But living here, in the dirty streets, taking the Métro, used as an annex of the Salvation Army for dozens of homeless, often deranged or agressive people and having first-hand experience of the general unpleasantness of most of the inhabitants is unpleasant at least.
And don't think that you escape the phenomenon if you're rich either ; Karl Lagerfeld once complained on TV that a whole bunch of drunk people living in his very posh street made walking in it unbearable. I am so happy that I don't live in the center of the city, whose prohibitive prices make it unreacheable for me anyway !
Bah, I supppose it's normal to have a love/hate relationship with the place you live in though it's funny, I don't remember feeling like this about London,where I lived for many, many years.
Anyway, to the two lovely ladies (check their blogs, they're really nice) : Patricia of "The Red Cardinal" and Leslie, the hostess of "The Humble Bungalow", who are soon to be reaching our shores, I just want to say : be prepared, toss the bad and enjoy the very beautiful and most of all : don't take the subway !
What about you, dear readers, have you been to Paris ? What did you think ? Do you plan to come ?
We're always wondering here what visitors make of the city. Perhaps if us locals make enough noise about it, things will change. And it's the elections for new mayors everywhere in France soon .....
A bientôt !!
all photos : The Silver Bunny