Paris, France

Ted Wynne is a a student at the University of Rhode Island and an official API Student Blogger. Ted is studying abroad with API this spring in Dublin, Ireland.

Paris, France: the city of the romantic, the artist, the narcissist and the inverted coffee drinker. A destination for pained souls seeking solace. Nutella lovers. A nest for chocolate suckling dreamers comfortably numb in a nostalgic past. Or, in my case, the highly irritated American whose throat was ready to give birth to one of those acid blood, chest cavity ripper slugs from Alien as he looked down upon the filth and cold of the historic metropolis. It’s a dirty city, cracked and layered with cigarette butts and poodle excrement. Woman wrapped in fur bathrobes and hats putt around with their noses high. Men do the same on their little scooters. On the peak of the Eiffel Tower, they all look like ants. An ironic relief. The Parisians treat foreigners as such. And only we foreigners populate the top of the iconic landmark.

I want to hate Paris. I really really really do. I even wrote this blog as an Anti-Paris Please For The Love of God Don’t Go To Paris article before erasing everything and starting over the day after I was supposed to send it in to API’s Texas office. I wanted to write:

I went to Paris. I hated it. Now the planning was superb, API puts on one heck of a trip. It was the city itself that I loathed, not the means of making it there. But that shouldn’t be! I wanted to be Owen Wilson in Midnight in Paris. I wanted to view Da Vinci in awe. I wanted to walk the streets and fall in love, have some trippy twilight dream and ejaculate the wonder I found from it all with words on a piece of paper. I wanted to breathe in life and exhale the drab of an average existence. But I didn’t. Because Paris sucks. It’s filthy. It’s bitter. The people are [explicative]. Naturally it didn’t help that I caught some virus that was having a splendiferous go at ending my life.

But I didn’t write that for this blog. I copied and pasted it from Draft One. Because that’s how I felt about Paris when I was there and throughout the two weeks after I left it behind. Yet, fourteen days past my miserable three day trek through the city, I must slap myself in the face. I mean c’mon, Wynne, you just went to Paris! Paris! The “we’ll always have Paris” Paris. The Paris that holds Notre Dame. The Paris from Ratatouille. The Paris that is home to some of the planet’s greatest works of art, architecture, and history. Napoleon and the Nazis have walked its streets. The French Revolution ran it red with blood! Wars have been fought, lost, and won for this city. People have died for this city. Been murdered and done the murdering. Rulers overthrown. Artists have lost themselves. The Eiffel Tower is the most overused and annoying default picture on Facebook by girls who think they can be professional photographers. It is a city that serves as a portal through time; a picture of the far past that makes way for present day enthrallment. No American landmark or place can say the same. We only have a couple hundred years. Paris has stood steadfast throughout our modern ages, a constant molded during the eras of rebellion, kings, warriors, and tyrants. It’s gorgeous. It’s mysterious. It’s a web that catches the souls of the world.

To know that I’ve been to such a place, that I’ve walked down its streets and gazed at its skyline, will always make me think, contently, that I’m better than those who haven’t. Even though I hated it, I’ll always have Paris.

Or maybe it’s just because the pastries there are so awesome.

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  1. Ashley Harper says

    What an excellent post.

  2. Hi,
    Lots of good information in your posting, I would like to tweet your blog post so I can visit again in the near future.

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