Parisian Snapshots.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

In January, I went to Paris for work. I've been to the City of Lights twice before, both times in the summer so I wasn't sure what winter would have in store for me.

My coworkers teased that they would convert me to a Paris over London person which will always receive a snort and shake of the head from me because London > everything, however this trip was probably the most I've ever enjoyed Paris. I was there for a week so it really gave me a chance to see so many different neighbourhoods of city rather than a quick weekend trip that involved rushing on and off the metro every other hour. It probably helped that I was with a bunch of people who have lived and worked in the city for years so they know it like the back of their hand in addition to speaking perfect French!

Unfortunately, my trip coincided with a major fever. The frigid and slightly polluted Parisian air did little to help this and I spent my mornings at the pharmacie trying just about everything. Meeting my new coworkers for the first time saying "Umm you probably don't want to shake my hand" and being that person in the office coughing/blowing their nose and generally just getting germs everywhere was not exactly how I planned on starting my new job, but c'est la vie - right? By the end of the week my system cleared up and I was able to actually appreciate the fabulous French food with the return of my sense of smell & taste.

I hadn't been back to Paris since the November attacks and really appreciated being able to reflect on the events that took place (Place de la République pictured above). 

When I told friends and family I was going to Paris just two months after that horrible night, their eyes widened and many asked me why I was even going. I knew people who had cancelled trips to Rome, Paris, Dublin, and many more places in fear that Europe was going to be attacked again at any moment. Friends saying "I'm not going to go in to London for a while" and "Let's not go to lunch there, that's too busy of a street." It really saddens me how powerful fear can be. People tell me I'm brave or this or that because I don't worry about going to big cities, being in crowds, getting on public transport - but the truth is the fear is always there in the back of my mind - I just refuse to let it consume me. 

While I am lucky to not be directly affected by these events in the way that so many people were, it still hit close to my heart. The Airbnb that Rachel and I stayed in last June was a 300 meter walk from La Belle Équipe where 19 people were killed. I was out in London that night in November and while we heard bits and pieces of what was happening through people's conversations, we didn't realise the scope of the situation until we got home late and stayed up watching the news.

I sent an email the following day to our Airbnb host that was so kind, young, and spirited, in hopes that I would get a response instead seeing her face on one of those lists. She responded two days later and her closing words, albeit simple, really resonated with me:

"Please come back to Paris and remember that this is still the best part of the city....We have to keep living"

Post a Comment

Latest Instagrams

Disqus for

© What the Elle. Design by Fearne.