I’m not here to write about what or how it happened. Whatever happened was barbaric and this tells us that humans are far from ‘civilised’. On this dark evening, I would like to lighten up and help you all feel better as we glance back to the time I visited France in 2011. I wrote this article a while ago but there’s a reason for me to be reliving and posting it at a time like this. I don’t want this nightmare to taint my memory of that beautiful country. So here is ‘My Paris Farewell’:
I’ve always spent most of my time in my French classes at school wondering about how it’d be to wander around the streets of Paris at night, with the Eiffel tour glimmering down upon the daily goers aka Parisians and the occasional tourists such as myself, hypothetically speaking of course. I used to get this immensely exaggerated dreamy look on my face whenever our Madame talked about life in France and especially Paris. And the best thing about attending French classes was, there were quite a lot of opportunities to get this supposed ‘dreamy’ look. Many of the classes were spent imagining a whole another world out there just waiting to be unraveled by my curious and eager self. And one fine morning or maybe not so fine since it was raining and everything was grey, but like a ray of sunshine, our teacher had announced an actual trip to France organised by our school and in that very moment, everyone in the classroom including myself had huge grins sporting on our faces and we just couldn’t stop ourselves from anticipating the upcoming adventure.
And so I went. I went to see what I’ve been dreaming of for quite a while.
Now that I am back home, I must say, my vision of Paris has been altered. Once, what was so mysterious and shiny was now more intimately understood with my own experiences and mishaps in the City of Lights.
After the check-in at the multicultural hostel we were staying at, we were immediately transported to Champs-Élysées , an absolutely busy street with its history felt in every breath taken there,and the pathway leading up to L’Arc de Triomphe.
Shuffling between the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay, and trying so hard to speak the learnt, grammar smitten French with the locals was exhausting. Breakfast was the best part, never skipping those buttery croissants with Nutella like a true local. (Stereotypes?Stereotypes.)
Fairytales are definitely written after witnessing nights in Paris. It’s a dream come true when you are walking along the Seine and can’t take your eyes of the Eiffel tower with all its glimmer shining brighter than any star. One of the most mesmerizing sights you will ever witness. And that was when I caught one of my friends saying that she wants nothing more from life now that she witnessed this moment. I silently agreed with her.
Je ne prie pas pour seulement le Paris mais je prie pour le monde. (I pray for not only Paris but I pray for the world.)
With all the love,