I Tried Being a Parisian
Today I tried being a Parisian. After being here six nights, seeing most of the tourist attractions, eating a lot of kebabs and working out how to use the self service checkouts at Monoprix I finally found myself with a couple of hours free to live in the city instead of visit it.
This meant, leaving my hotel wearing sneakers instead of hiking boots. Donning sunglasses and noise cancelling headphones. No backpack, camera, or map. I had places to go and things to do.
My first impressions, it reminded me of living in Sydney. There too, any visit to the city for work or leisure is always slowed down by tourists. Paris is a lot vaster than Sydney. And because of the language, tourists stand out much more here too. I would imagine as a Parisian that it would be easy to feel superior when there is a ubiquitous lower class of human - the tourist - in your daily life behaving clueless and obnoxious because they don't know your language or your culture.
I strode by some tourists on my way to the supermarket, and left them standing dumbly while they waited for traffic signals that I jaywalked through. I reached some gardens with a snack and a beer and music on and felt very at home putting my feet up on a second chair and relaxing under the cloudy, yet warm summer afternoon sky.
My belonging in Parisian lasted until someone sat next to me at the park and their cigarette smoke put me off. Which was not long.
This was actually my second visit to the Luxembourg Gardens today, and third gardens in general. I don't think I will ever tire of going for a walk first thing in the morning and then eating breakfast somewhere pleasant. The destination for us today was Jardin des Plantes. I was forced to eat my oats with a fork as one of the spoons has been MIA for a while.
We then indulged in more summer fruits from the street markets of Rue Mouffetard, as well as a chocolate covered eclair, that we took and enjoyed in Luxembourg under nice skies and in front of nice flowers.
Then we did visit one final museum, because we already had the reservation for Sainte-Chapelle. This place is only really worth visiting because of the stain glass windows, and yeah, they are impressive.
After that we ate lunch at an Israeli style creperie, enjoying a savoury crepe followed by a buttery one. This gave me some fuel for the being a Parisian that followed.
Our final evening: another visit to the bookstore, then dinner at Rosie's BBQ, and a walk along the river enjoying the sunset.
And that was that. C'est fini. Nothing left to do but go to bed so that I can then travel for 26 hours and end up in the cold.