This is a story about Paris (inspired by Midnight in Paris).
As Werther Armand introduces himself in overture, French literature is an importance source of influence in his early twenties. His coming to France a couple of years ago was due to his desire of shortening his physical distance with the French air and sunshine. (Of course, the French women too.) He believed this was the way to situate himself in his personal Parisian nostalgia running after stunningly pretty courtesans. Unfortunately, as the very smart readers of this blog may know, Werther Armand dwells in the European capital, Strasbourg. His choice of residence more or less reflects his deception between his imagined Paris and the real Paris. Paris is just a concept for foreigners, her elegance has vanished for almost a century.
I am not denying the fact that Paris is a very charming city if you only consider certain quartiers like the artistic 18th Montmartre; the museums and monuments like La Tour Eiffel, Louvre, etc. are all amazing architectural wonders. However, take a closer look at Paris in general, smell that pee odor overwhelming in the metro and train stations; see those innovative graffiti you encounter almost everywhere in the city. How can it be a romantic place? The worst thing is, in my opinion, many Hong Kong tourists are hyper enthusiastic about Paris. (I do not comment on the rest of the globe, though I think they are alike.) Even if with their feet attached to this land, they are sill travelling within their imagination. They follow the routine of some I-ve-been-here-and-there/ bring-a-book-to-xxx travel book, eat as what every other tourist suggested… What is worse, as a result of the digital revolution, a thousand pictures on the same site are taken and shown on facebook. Why the heck do we keep devaluating our experience?
I wonder, is this the memory you want to keep when you travel half a globe? Come on, be honest to yourself that the pigeons have conquered the romance. And, stop romanticizing the Parisian long face! You are not a 14 year old girl running after superstars! I did have met a woman in her early 20s saying the Parisians’ poor attitude and arrogance was so charismatic… My mouth turned immediately in an O shape having heard of such a statement. Every time I read some post praising how happy and romantic s/he felt in Paris during his/her stay of three days, I want to be sick! I am happy that you had a nice trip, but is it not too short that in three days you conclude this city as romantic? I conclude in 3 seconds that one talks to himself must be in need of some medical consultation:
Werther Armand was hitting on pretty women as usual, “Hi! Could you give me a reason why an attractive woman like you drinks alone? I come here often but I have never seen you…”
The young woman was indifferent to Werther Armand’s flattery until he spoke of his having lived in France. Her eyes were suddenly filled with sparkle and she squeezed her cleavage, “Hey, handsome, you’ ve lived in France? Paris must be very romantic a place, is it? Did you go to the headquarters of Louis Vuitton, Chanel, YSL… They say that those are places where we must go at least once in a life time, don’t you agree? I always want to go to Europe…”
Please excuse my ignorance and inferior intelligence, may I ask the relationship between those luxurious brands and romance? Why does Paris represent France and even Europe? This is more curious than the curious case of Benjamin Button!
Bye for now, see you next blog!