Je T’aime, Paris

Him: You speak really good English for an Italian.

Me: (I laughed.)  Thank you, but I’m American.

. . .

Him: You know the “ulk”?

Me: Huh?

Him: You know, the “ulk”?  (He puffs out his chest.)

Me: What? Ohhh, you mean the hulk.

Him: Yes, the “ulk.”

And so went many of my conversations.  I love how I would say something in French and nobody would understand me, and I’d repeat it one octave lower and suddenly people knew exactly what I was trying to say.  I’ve realized it’s the same in reverse.

Two nights before I left Paris, I was talking to a guy from Corsica and he asked me what I liked about France.  Here’s the long answer I couldn’t come up with on the spot.

Je t’aime, Paris.*  I love your cheese, especially the compté.  I love that I can sit in a café for literally hours and nobody will ask me to leave.  Plop me in any park, and I’m happy.  The Luxembourg, Bois des Vincennes, the Tuilleries.

French sounds so f**king sexy, even if you’re describing a medical ailment.  Paris is designed for the romantic hypochondriac.  Find me a street without a pharmacy on it.

Everyone is in love here.  Even if it is just for one night.

I could eat pain au chocolat everyday.  In fact, I basically did.  I love that whatever part of my baguette I didn’t eat, I could use as a baseball bat within 24-36 hours.

I love that people are present and not on their phones texting.  I like that all the tables face the street.  I love the vélib’ and the metro.  I like that the streets don’t go straight and sometimes I didn’t end up where I was trying to go.  But Paris, you keep me on my toes.

Maybe I do wear rose-colored glasses, but I’m not taking them off.

*So maybe I didn’t answer his question about France, but I love Paris and Corsica and all the other cities I’ve visited.

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