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Old 03-19-2012, 11:57 AM   #1380
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SophieLaFontaine's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: my heart remains in France
Posts: 21,995

Originally Posted by nickelini View Post

Well, that reminds me of feelings I've felt in my travels. The most outstanding example is all my life I wanted to live in the English countryside, and when I finally got there on my 2nd trip to England when I was 46, I stood and cried. My kids and husband (who grew up with summers in Tuscany) thought I was joking. But I was just overwhelmed by finally making it there and it was so beautifully like everything I'd ever dreamed.

I'd call it spiritual.
Yeah!! Like that!! I remember another thing about Paris. I felt that it was literally heaven on earth. Even with the dog crap in the streets, and the smell of cigarette smoke and car exhaust every now and then and a few men peeing in the streets - still, it was soooooooooo charming that I just could NOT believe that SUCH a place existed in REAL LIFE. Paris was not the first place I had traveled to, my parents took me to many places when I was young, including Hawaii, which many people consider close to paradise! I never had this type of reaction to a place though. The moment I stepped out from the underground subway passageway, I was just overwhelmed with awe and wonder. At night, I looked out the hotel room's window and was SHOCKED to see a MOON. I could not believe Paris was on the SAME PLANET as my own home town (which I DO like a lot; it's just not PARADISE is all) and that Parisians saw the same moon as I did back home. I just could not work it into my physical being that Paris was actually REAL and I was actually there, in real life. It boggled my mind that not only was it real, there were people who LIVED there, who were there EVERY DAY!!!! I tried not to think about that, because whenever I did, I would be overwhelmed by heartsick envy and jealousy. I struck up a conversation with a Parisian who mentioned that he liked to travel. I stared at him in amazement and replied that he LIVED in Paris, WHY would he EVER EVER EVER leave it???

Even the most mundane things were beautiful and charming, because there was French printed all over it. I took photos of cereal boxes and stacks of phonebooks. I went into post offices and took their free pamplets and brochures (the ones meant for the residents, not the tourists).

Possibly I could feel this way about ANY city or town in France. It's just that Paris is the only French city I've been to.
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