People always ask me what it's like to live in the City of Light. So I'm finally sitting down (at a café) and thinking about it.
Does the love affair of a tourist slowly transform itself into the boredom of a resident? Let's see…
Living in Paris means sitting at a café for hours and not feeling guilty about being lazy, taking time to read and discuss books, making macarons your comfort food and croissants your street food, buying fresh bread every day, mixing a designer dress with an accessory from H&M, going everywhere by foot or metro.
My thoughts may sound fast paced, but life here isn't. Strange for a city, non? People aren't obsessed about arriving at any particular place at an exact hour. Being 15 minutes late is actually on time. A meal can unfold slowly, at its own tempo.
What this means is native Parisians or Parisians by adoption (like me) actually take the time to enjoy what the city has to offer. Good news: We don't completely give up the "tourist" status! My Parisian friends and I regularly visit permanent and traveling exhibits at the Louvre, Musee d'Orsay or smaller venues. We do most of our shopping at open-air or covered markets rather than in supermarkets. And when it's warm enough, we sit in one of the beautiful public gardens with our books.
However, it's true that the daily routine does catch up with us, even in Paris. I've caught myself hurrying through the streets of Montmartre without looking up at the Sacre-Coeur Basilica or completely ignoring the Opera Garnier as I rush to cross the street. Then, I force myself to take a moment and look around. There is the Seine. I'm standing before it, looking at everything beyond. And I tell myself to never stop dreaming of Paris.