Capital Cities Ruin You... Or At Least Paris Does
It is so true, Paris has ruined me. I am fearfully apprehensive of the day that I leave. 24/7 transport, hundreds of museums, exhibitions and concerts on your doorstep, being able to get McDonalds delivered at 1am, it’s going to be tough to give up.
I used to think nothing of waiting thirty plus minutes for a bus or tram, now anything over five minutes seems like a joke. During the Christmas break, I paid a visit to friends back in the UK and imagine my surprise when I couldn't order an Uber there. I was so shocked, incredulous, how could I survive without my tap of a button ride and buses had stopped running too (can you imagine?) Paris has truly spoilt me. When I'm back home visiting, I can't even get deliveroo, and we live on the edge of the city... it's truly horrifying.
Yet, the absolute worst thing about being back in the UK is having to pay for museums and galleries. Paris, as a capital city, is almost unique in that sense. Nearly all museums and galleries are free for EU residents under 26, journalists, the unemployed, the disabled, teachers working in public schools, the list goes on and on. Most are also free on the first Sunday of each month for everyone, many are free all year round. What do you have to say to that London?
However, just like any other capital city, London included, the huge abundance of choice is a blessing and a curse, "where shall we go for a drink?" can become an impossible question with thousands of bars to choose from, but how lucky we are to have all those choices. How lucky I am to be constantly finding new places, new people and new experiences in this city. To bask in the knowledge that it will never bore me, I will never tire with each new pop up, street graffiti, boutique, bar or person that I discover.
The sheer wealth of opportunities that is open to you purely by living in this city is insane.
You do not even need to step inside a museum to experience its unfathomable magic, walks by the Seine, the bookshops, watching artists in Montmartre, the smell of fresh baguettes, red wine stains, the architecture, it all embodies Paris.
Where else can I get so incredibly, beautifully lost? Where else offers such an opportunity to reinvent oneself whilst losing oneself? Only to find yourself again amongst the waterlilies in L’Orangerie.
The hope, the solidarity, the sheer determination that this city embodies cannot be recreated. The threads of the memories that I have woven into this city have attached themselves to me and I cannot shake them. I cannot lose them or forget them. I cannot re-create them but I can create new threads and weave them in new, different and exciting places but those original threads will always tug me back here, to Paris.