They say it’s romantic to stroll the streets of Paris in the rain. At least that’s what my girlfriend told me “they say”. Since it was raining a good portion of the time we were there, I would assume she’s been fully romanced. Paris is paradise for women, so no amount of storms would’ve ruined the moment.
We experienced the usual stereotypes: baguettes, croissants, cheese, wine, and outdoor cafés with Parisians drinking espresso and smoking cigarettes. Unfortunately, we never spotted any mimes dressed in a black & white striped shirt playing the accordion and we only saw one person wearing a beret. I’ve seen more berets in a hipster bar in Brooklyn.
We did manage to improvise a mock engagement in front of the Eiffel Tower. Many of you saw the video in your news feed on Facebook, read the title and posted congratulatory comments, but obviously didn’t watch video. Specifically the ending where we stated that it was ALL A JOKE! Plus, after she said “yes”, I started thanking everyone that was clapping, as if I had just won an Oscar for a world class performance.
My close friends know I’m not one for engagement or marriage. They probably thought to themselves, “What is Sadiq trying to pull?” and laughed knowing I would ever do such a thing. It’s just too cliche.
The aftermath for my girlfriend’s mom consisted of fielding phone calls from family members who didn’t realize my devious ways. They either saw the post on Facebook or heard through the grapevine. Eventually being let down, after being told that it was all a hoax. Her mother has a great sense of humor and got a kick out making fun of the others for being so gullible.
In the first few days of being in Paris, I realized that it wasn’t much different from other metropolises in the US. They had McDonald’s, KFC, and were commercialized just like the rest of the western world, but with older architechure.
We chose not to be touristy touristy, so we visited a few places like the Eiffel and Notre Dame, but we also rented a scooter and toured neighborhoods that most visitors don’t get to see. Places on the outskirts where all the colored people are pushed to, with neighborhoods that have a bit more culture.
The people were surprisingly nice. We’ve all heard that Parisians are mean, but they were fairly nice and helpful. Maybe it’s because coming from NYC I’m already exposed to hard ass people. While riding, splitting lanes in a traffic jam, I mistakenly hit a car’s rearview mirror with the side mirror on my scooter. I looked inside the car, and the man looked at me, then looked at the unaffected mirror and in a calm manner gave me the, “it’s okay, it happens” look. I wasn’t expecting that. As an American, if someone did that to my car, I would look at them and be pissed, honking my horn repeatedly, as the rider sped away without an apology.
I didn’t like that they posted their street names on the side of buildings. Sometimes they were there, sometimes they were not. Each time they were posted at a different position vertically, making it extremely difficult to navigate. There was no standard! In the US we have them hanging on poles along with traffic lights, which makes much more sense.
The city closes down by 2am the latest. You can’t find anything open, not even a place to eat, like a late night diner. The service is also horrible. It’s nice that the service/tip is already included in the meal prices, but it doesn’t leave much incentive to earn it. At dinner one night we waited almost 30 minutes just for the waitress to get the check, not counting the already slow service throughout the entire meal. She kept saying she had a bad memory, and sometimes forgot things, so she apologized. It annoyed me because why the fuck are you working in an industry in which having a functioning brain is critical to serving your customers. Maybe if you have trouble remembering, you should take pictures, or notes to remember what your stupid cells can’t retain.
Pigeons. The fucking pigeons. Being in NYC, I’m accustomed to seeing pigeons everywhere, but the ones in Paris are completely uncivilized. They take off inadvertently and fly really low so they end up hitting you when they take flight. At least the pigeons in NYC are cordial.
I would definitely recommend taking a trip out there, but I would suggest to go with a significant other. There are much better places to go if you were single, so don’t waste the romance on yourself, and save the trip to Paris for when you want to woo your girlfriend, wife, or bottom boy.
For the next couple of months I can use Paris as an excuse for anything I do wrong.
Girlfriend: “Sadiq, you just left the dishes in the sink.”
Me: “I took you to Paris.”
Girlfriend: “No worries honey, I’ll wash them.”