October 21, 2009

Parisian Reflections I

Posted in English, Places, Reflections at 11:23 pm by Rou...

As a first-time visitor to Europe (Because I do not consider Turkey in “Europe”), I had many mixed feelings towards this new experience; impressiveness, amazement, joy, amusement, and even disappointments at times…
 
I know that many of my friends consider what I did completely nuts… But, I would rather consider it ignorance…

Why?
Because France and Italy are not 2 countries to be visited together in a period of one week for the first time… that is something I discovered only after experiencing it…
 
I have so many on my mind to say, and am not planning to sum things up here, because none of the 3 places, Paris, Venice, or Rome deserves to be treated lightly…
 
So, let me start just the way my short trip started… with the marvelous Paris…
 
Funny enough that my first encounter with the most beautiful city I have ever seen wasn’t as beautiful as the city itself at all… As a matter of fact it was a day full of disasters starting with the electricity cut all across CDG airport, and having to stay inside the plane after it landed for an hour, and having to wait for the luggage arrival for another hour in the airport afterwards… followed by another issue with our taxi driver from the airport to the hotel, and ending later on the same day with a bad experience in the metro…
 
But the fact remains that all these disappointments easily fed away the moment my eyes truly witnessed its charm…
 
Paris, what can I say about you…?
 
For me, Paris presented the ultimate perfection, where everything is too good to be true… where simplicity and beauty are the keywords…
 
One of the most interesting things that I learned during this trip is never to trust people’s opinions about a place or its people without experiencing it yourself… See, I cannot really recall how many times had I been warned about how rude and unfriendly French people are in dealing with tourists, especially with Muslim ones, and particularly veiled ones… and to those particular people I say… it’s either I’m the luckiest one on earth, or you’ve never been to Paris!
 
I mean… What I saw from Parisians was like nothing I have ever seen…
If this is being unfriendly, then I truly pray we all turn as such… If this is rudeness then I am happy I have been treated this way…
 
I stayed in Paris less than 3 days… and I cannot really recall how many times I have been generously given assistance without even asking for it… I cannot recall how many times we have been asked by normal people passing by us in the streets if we needed help just because they saw us opening the map…
 
Do you need examples?
 
An old man walked us to the Louvre, without even asking him, and when I say “walked us there” I mean it… he walked us till its entrance gate (the internal one that is right infront of the glass pyramid), and when we thanked him, he just asked for a postcard from Egypt when we return… Another man walked us from the metro station were we kinda got lost to a place very close to where our hotel is because we didn’t know the way to reach it…
 
Enough? No?
Ok… take this then… A taxi driver gave us a lift to our hotel and refused to take the fare money… Is that normal…? This is something that doesn’t happen in Egypt!
 
There are only examples of what we saw from French people…
Unfriendly?!
 
These people are as beautiful as their city… they simply changed the way I look to French people… they made me fall in love with their city even more…
 
So, here I am taking this pledge… I will offer my sincere assistance to any foreigner I see in the street… without even waiting for him to ask… just the way I have been treated in Paris… who knows… may be this might override any bad experience they have or will encounter here…
 
Paris… the most beautiful city… Another post to follow…
 
Rou… (Live from Cairo!)
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2 Comments »

  1. gjoez said,

    Well, I had friends with totaly different experiences!

    So my word is: You are extremely lucky masha Allah 😀

    Glad u enjoyed it 😉

  2. Rou... said,

    Gjoez, trust me I can’t recall how many times I “heard” about such experiences from friends… But “Hearing” is quite different from “Experiencing”…

    I haven’t seen from French people except amazing hospitality… 🙂

    I’m glad I did enjoy it bardo!

    Thanks for passing by! 🙂


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