Thursday, August 14, 2008

Debunking the Myth of Paris

We've heard so many horrible things about Paris way before we even thought about going there. Naturally, we did our little research by talking to as many people as we knew. But the funny thing was, nobody seemed to have enjoyed it. This is a straight-to-the-point, cut-to-the-chase summary of the typical responses that we got concerning Paris:

1) Paris is extremely hot in summer. It's sweaty & unenjoyable.
2) Paris is so full of immigrants that it doesn't feel like Paris anymore. It's like a Third World country.
3) Beware of pickpockets & Gypsies. They are everywhere.
4) Parisians, especially the waiters, are rude to people who don't speak French.
5) Nobody speaks English.
6) There's dog poo on the streets everywhere in Paris.

Imagine what that could have done to both of us. It could have smothered our spirit of travelling & adventure in Europe. But we thought, how could we ever resist this?

And we found out that Paris was all that Ratatouille portrayed it to be.

1) We were there in early July, which was at the very beginning of summer. So the temperatures were hovering around low 20+ deg. cel. So most of the time, we went out dressed like this & it was fine.

2) We found Paris to be very excepting towards different cultures, & there certanly were a lot of them, but because they all speak French, we couldn't tell.

3) We only came across Gypsy beggars about 2-3 times. Once in the subway,

twice on Eiffel tower grounds.

But they were just begging. Ignore them & they'll go away.

4) Parisian waiters were on the contrary very entertaining & funny. They speak surprisingly good English.

5) Almost everyone knows how to speak English.

6) We only came across dog poo once on the streets. And it was already faded.

There were definitely more pigeons than dog poo on the streets.

Maybe Paris has changed, or maybe we were just lucky, but it was one of the most wonderful places to visit. You'd know that when it makes you feel like wanting to stay & to work there. It did that to me.

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