Paris would be my favourite City after all. Especially after being in a big Metropolis like London. At this stage I have to say that Paris is much nicer than London. Tho, I did say the opposite to my son J a few weeks ago. There was a certain vibrance that I do not find here.
London is a younger city than Paris, more happening I suppose for whatever that means. Younger meaning that to my eyes there was a percentage of the population that was younger.
While walking in Paris today I was quite surprised by the mix of old people , middle aged and younger.
But I found Paris much prettier than London. It was the aesthetic that struck me when I got back. One might say that because I am French. I was pleasantly attracted again by the beauty and the elegance of buildings in Paris itself. I did not find that elegance and charm in London. Subjective one might say…I’ll accept that and I am sure that someone will contradict me quite vehemently.
Nevertheless, I’ll never tire of The Galeries Lafayette or le Printemps next to the majestic Opera and Le cafe de la Paix. Their architecture surpassing in my view again that of Harrods or Selfridges. The beggars are still there but in less numbers than before. I am sure that they have been allocated in some obscured corner so that the town appears aseptic. I know, so that the tourists and the rich crowds never encounter the other side of life and keep spending oblivious to other’s misery and plight. Every great city has its share of destitution.
Then, we have the young red hair, well groomed man with brand new runners, smart T shirt, and checked short who suddenly bends down in front of us and finds a ring. Look, says he amused…a gold ring. The unaware tourist might fall for it. Wow! How much would that be worth? And would start bargaining for a fake piece of rubbish. I have encountered that for quite a few years now and just smiled at the guy and sent him on his way. These people I was told are romans…..Gypsies, just working in gangs. Like the guys sitting in front of les Galeries Lafayette with his child laying on a blanket all day, his head 3 times too big and looking dazed. The father sits there in front of him begging, looking destitute. I am sure he is. But he has been there for years now. People go by immune to it all. He looked so well fed with a large abdomen.
Parisians are not a happy lot, grim and not many smiling or being courteous. A young woman of 20 max was sitting down in the metro and did not offer her place to my friend of 70 years old too absorbed with her Iphone. I was quite shocked. I should not be really. This would not happen in London. Every time I was offered a sit so did my husband! Yes, I am getting on.
But having said this, I did find the Parisians this year on the whole very charming, polite and ready to land a hand.