After seeing a lot of France this time and for the most part, falling in love with the country, I felt excited about seeing Paris again because I thought that perhaps this time I would get what it was all about.
Well, to cut to the chase, I still don’t quite love it. Paris is beautiful, really beautiful and its public spaces are full of life – children playing, men taking the business of petanque very seriously. But after seeing places like Marseilles and Toulouse where there was disorder and vivacity, Paris felt a bit cold somehow.
That said there are heaps of cool little pockets around. The Jewish Quarter had a fantastic vibe on Sunday afternoon with people milling about on the streets and lining up for felafels outside L’As du Felafel (even the memory of what it tasted like is enough to sustain me). In Belleville we found real Asian grocery stores where we bought an obscene amount of guava juice for next to nothing. We also ate some Vietnamese food in Chinatown one night and though it wasn’t quite as good as my mum’s pho, it was really pretty decent. And there was a market in the Bastille area on Sunday which was a happy find for us. Okay, so it seems to be all about food…oh, and did I mention crepes with Nutella?
After spending three weeks in France, one thing is really very obvious. Ultimately what really gets me is when the world comes together. I guess I’m a bit of a Lennonist in my idea of a perfect world.