Paris, France: Postcards from me to you

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Dearest Friends, I’m now in Paris, and hereby send you virtual postcards (through photos, that is)! Despite feeling a bit jet-lagged from the time zone difference, I mustered the energy to visit some of the city’s iconic spots; I found my abode, dropped off my luggage, and sailed with the wind. After all, I’m in Paris, which means that there’s no time to waste!

Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral

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I’d initially planned to climb the Notre Dame towers, as it’s one of the main sites to get a neat, comprehensive view of the city with fearsome (and super cool) gargoyles for company, but then I realized that I was too optimistic; the line up was as long as the Nile River. I didn’t get to go inside either, as the line up for that was even more serpentine. This was surprising to me as I’d expected September to be the off-season, but then again, who am I kidding, it’s Paris! Nevertheless, for now I got to admire the Cathedral’s fine French gothic architectural details from the outside, instead.

Bouquinistes along the Seine River

Bouquinistes along the Seine River


I knew I was in Paris when, walking along the Seine River, I see two iconic sceneries: people eating their French baguette sandwiches by the water, and the stands of bouquinistes along the Seine, which sell old, antique books and reading materials. It was eye candy-type eyesight; I even bought a newspaper for my sister’s print collection.

Shakespeare & Co

Shakespeare & Co

My one-sided relationship with Shakespeare & Co goes back about six years ago. I’d discovered this magical bookstore on Tumblr, and over the years, flooded my blog with photos of it while praying to the literary gods and the travel goddesses to take me to my dream bookstore. A quaint, antique, local bookshop in Paris? How friggin’ romantique for the bookworm! And now that I’ve experienced the bookstore, I feel like I’ve successfully lived my life purpose and can now retire as an old lady.


The Latin Quarter and St-Germain-des-Prés area had some picturesque side streets and nooks and crannies. In the last photo (spot him, if you please), the man waved at me and thanked me for snapping a photo of him. My day was made thanks to his lighthearted nature, and thanks to the kind, hospitable locals who helped me find my way.


I ended my first day in Paris at the Eiffel Tower, and like an old lady, retired home at 4pm. I needed sleep and my brain needed to recuperate (the commotion and hustle and bustle of cities can be taxing for an introvert’s physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being). Moreover, I knew that tomorrow an early and long day was awaiting me: I was journeying to Le Louvre!


When I arrived at CDG Airport, I could feel the excitement creep in; it felt surreal to finally be in Paris after all the years of wishing, dreaming, and romanticizing about the “City of Love.” But when I arrived in the city centre, I experienced the harsh reality of what constitutes la vie quotidienne in Paris — a fact that applies anywhere in the world — and my utopian sentiment was shattered. I also began feeling spiritually malade, and for various reasons.

This was surprising, even to me, because I’ve talked about Paris and loved it blindly since time immemorial. But then again, I don’t think I’ve ever fallen in love with any city at first sight. Be it for a place or a human being, for me, fondness has always grown slowly over time; only once I’ve experienced an elemental degree of depth, can I then love with steadfast, unswerving conviction. That’s why I’m looking forward to day two and to subsequent days: I know that it’ll only get better.

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