It was a state of euphoria, the first time I stepped foot in Paris. I knew I had fallen in love with this city. I knew I had to fall in love in this city.
And I did.
Cliché, but classic. After all, who can ever resist the alluring sparkles of the City of Love?
My love affair with Paris sparked off in very a whimsical way. It was graceful and almost unreal, so much that it could sweep any girl off her feet and then keep her bedazzled ever after. And as time passes, this relationship blossoms. After almost three years of frequent rendezvous, it is only clear that this relationship with Paris is here to secure a permanent residency in my heart.
I travel to Paris a lot, mainly for love. There are so many adjectives out there to describe Paris and I think ‘beautiful’ is underrated. Too simplistic, too mediocre. It doesn’t properly describe or justify the heart and soul of this city. Maybe ‘grandiose’ should be the word.
The Haussmannian architecture that sprawls across the city, straight boulevards, magnificent open spaces and elegant façades; groomed puppies, manicured gardens, cobbled streets; dainty pâtisseries, whiff of strong coffees and trays of macaron in pretty pastels… how are these only ‘beautiful’?
It is true that the majority of French doesn’t speak English. It is also true that pickpockets are abundant. But these do not seem to hinder throngs and throngs of tourists, artists and lovers from flocking into the City every year, year after year, to revel in its exuberant beauty and lose themselves in all the glitz and glitters.
“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast” –Hemingway
One of the many things that one should know about the French is that they pay significant regard to the quality of things. This mentality is most prominently applied to the way they dine and the way they handle inter-personal relationships.
This state of mind becomes a habit and is reflected unapologetically in their often fastidious demand for services and things. (i.e. presentation of food alone is an entirely new philosophy)
Nonetheless, “quality” is always parallel to the source of fulfilment. It is a kind of contentment that surpasses the satisfaction one could derive from materials. It delves deeper into the substance of things and brings into existence those very lasting meaningful feelings.
After all, it is only the quality of life that can fulfil one’s paramount needs.
For instance, in France, it is not uncommon to have long meals, where people bond over courses. The food are always prepared to include fresh ingredients of the season, seasoned only to bring out the best of their inherent tastes. During a French dinner, you pour your wine and your heart out all in the span of two hours.
Apart from that, affection and admiration between loved ones are also more perceptible. When it comes to all things sentimental, the French are very practical. Ironic?
But there you go, I just unmask the definition of “romantic” in one sentence. It is called the City of Love because people do not shun away from their real feelings.
In fact, they act on them.
The institution of love is so well guarded and reserved in this City because people acknowledge, celebrate and receive Love with the fullest respect that it deserves.
In Paris, things happen slower. But happen nevertheless. And very often, they happen in such splendid fashion.
Perhaps “beautiful” and “grandiose” are not so adequate to describe Paris. And perhaps there is no one word in the world that is quite enough to encapsulate the essence of this City at all.
But if I have to describe my feeling for Paris in one word, it will be “Nourishing”. For how sickening life can be if one is to trudge through it with un-reciprocated love and insatiable passions?
For every time I am in Paris I feel like I am put in a real, buzzing world, but given an allowance to appreciate the beauty of life.
Paris is real.
But why is it always so magical?
With Love x