Before coming to Paris, I heard different impressions of Paris from my friends. Some like it, some dislike it. And how about me?
I don’t really take another person’s impression of a city or place into account because it is subjective. That’s why I prefer to prove and feel a city or place by myself. And for Paris…
I don’t dislike Paris. There were some areas that I really love and some that were too mainstream and too many tourists there. For me, Eiffel and Louvre area were too crowded so I didn’t really enjoy them. Especially, strange men in Eiffel that made me feel unsafe. But I love the company. I was there with my Erasmus friend, Fran, who I just knew that she was in Paris after I posted Ms. OMG!’s France Getaway photos on Facebook. Enjoying sunset in Eiffel and talking about many things with Fran was so nice. You know that girls talk about many things, right? 😉 and I should say that sunset at Eiffel was breathtakingly beautiful.
Similar case with enjoying French pancake. An opportunity to be able to meet Ann-Sophie, Amina, and Giullaume made me feel the real Parisian life. Because I didn’t plan this trip so well, I told them that I was in Paris after I had arrived in Paris. I knew Ann-Sophie and Amina because I hosted them in Porto and meeting them again in Paris made me feel like I met my old friends. They told many things about the city itself and introduced me to pancake! Haha! It was a warm evening meeting we had. (Complete story on “Finally, I Have Visited Paris Part II“.)
My Amélie fantasy hasn’t vanished from my mind though I missed a French song during my trip to Montmartre (you know that Yann Tiersen composed Amélie’s original soundtrack, right??? I want it to accompany me in Montmartre :p ). Crowded part of Montmartre didn’t impress me. In contrast, its hidden part did. Ben and friends were also good companies though we had different opinion on how to enjoy Montmartre. (Complete story on “Finally, I Have Visited Paris Part III: Montmartre!!!“)
Disneyland was a puuurfect decision I made. I was planning to go there but since I traveled alone, I wasn’t so sure of going there. Surprisingly, Moren and her friends were also planning to go to Disneyland. That was awesome! Although I just met Moren once in Brussels before and spent two nights at Azmi and Mitha’s apartment,we got along reeeeallly well! I cannot forget our Disneyland experience. (Complete story on “That Magical Day at Disneyland, Paris.“
Last but not least, Bea, who was a stranger and now, my friend. I do believe that there isn’t any stranger, they are friends that we haven’t met. Unfortunately, I visited Paris during weekdays so I didn’t spend lot of times wandering around Paris with her. But her hospitality and kindness were two of Paris best things that ever happened to me. Fyi, Bea had planned to travel to Indonesia before she met me. She bought a set of Asian exotic countries books and the publisher coincidentally sent her two books about Indonesia instead of a book about Indonesia and a book about China. Do you believe such coincidence? See u in both Krakow, Poland; and Indonesia, Bea!!! (Complete story on “Finally, I Have Visited Paris Part I“.)
Do you know that Parisians drive really fast although there is a zebra cross and some pedestrians want to cross? Almost similar to Indonesians, right? Parisians also don’t obey traffic light and zebra cross. They cross the street whenever and wherever they want to cross. Ok, totally similar with Indonesians. *High five!* I experienced and realised these habits during my five days staying there. I almost got hit by car several times there. Some were my fault also because I was blank and didn’t pay attention to traffic light. But the rest were because of those cars didn’t want to lower their speed even though there was zebra cross.
Le Marais, Latin Quartier, and St. Germain district were my favourite parts of Paris. I will completely spend more time there when I visit Paris next time in the future. Those districts were interesting because there were many Parisians who were in high pace (OMG! They walk really fast.) and enjoy their life really well. I love the atmosphere in those areas. There were also many nice yet classic shops with beautiful displays.
The greatest impression that Paris left on my mind was the Grand Mosque. At first, I found another door of Grand Mosque and it was closed. I was so disappointed because of it and I texted my friend about it. He said that the door usually open during praying time. and yes, he was right. The entrance door was on another side of the building, haha! I found it because a man found me with my hopeless face and he told me the way to go inside Grand Mosque. It had been a long time since my last praying at a mosque. I didn’t go to a mosque regularly because I could pray at my house when I was in Indonesia. But living in Europe made me miss that praying experience and having jamaah (praying together) at a mosque. OMG! I was so excited until I cried because I felt so small to Allah.
To sum up, merci beaucoup Paris for those experiences I had in five days. You may be not my best traveling destination, but you are unforgettable. I would also like to thank everyone who welcome me in Paris, my friends who let me stay on their couch, and my friends who enjoyed Paris with me.