What’s Love Got to Do With Paris?
Bell TotallyRandie.com | 5/12/2017, 1 p.m.
Have you ever been played? Have you ever had your heart broken? Think back to the first time that you found out Santa Clause wasn't real, or the first time your parents broke their promise to you. That's the feeling that Paris aka "The City of Love" gave me this weekend. Paris (in my best French accent) is the perfect online relationship. Everyone on the outside looking in longs to be in the girlfriend or boyfriend role, or aspire to one day find a significant other like those in the loving relationships; in other words #RelationshipGoals The problem is no one sees when the couple goes home and barely talks to each other, the fights, insults, or tears. All they see is the admiration or "love" that each posts on social media or tags in a picture.
For years, I imagined Paris to flow with the sound of accordions playing that classic French music heard in the movies. I envisioned myself walking the streets as I passed bistros on every corner with the best cheese and vino and chefs waiting to greet me; a crowded love lock bridge suffocating me with couples sealing their love with locks and kisses. My stomach would long for Ratatouille, crepes, macarons, and French bread. However, I was greeted with a much different view when I touched down in Paris. Cigarette smoke, extremely crowded streets/traffic, a tourists exploitation, and bad hygiene all met me at the door.
Unlike in the US, Paris has no regulations for smoking. People smoked in stores, cafes, restaurants, hotels, you name a place, and they lit it up. It didn’t even matter that plaster on every pack of their cigarettes was a huge message in bold letters saying "smoking kills." It was as if people didn’t care or knew how to read because with every step I took, I smelled burning tobacco that singed my nostrils. But that wasn't the only thing playing hopscotch with my allergies; hygiene is far down the Parisians list of things to do. Not only was the body odor atrocious, but also there wasn’t any soap in about 90% of the places we visited included our own hotel room. Which by the way, if you plan on visiting Europe period, be mindful that accommodations are small, all the way around. Your plates are tapas, so are your drinking glasses, and ice is a luxury. Your entire hotel room is probably the side of a kitchen in Texas. Think New York for rooming as well as transportation and traffic. What should have been a 5-10 minute drive in an Uber pool took us a legit 30-minute drive. In their defense, they were electing a president the weekend I decided to go, so there were an excessive amount of tourists in the city for the election.
While on the subject of tourists be careful of exploitation when visiting Paris. Just from my Bonjour alone, people could tell I was a tourist. So what usually cost 5 Euros had immediately jumped to 20 Euros. However, because this wasn't my first rodeo in Europe, I caught on quickly to the game and they could tell I was a seasoned tourist so they didn’t play with me too much, but they knew I was a tourist nonetheless.