Parisian Disappointments


Disappointments are sweeter in Paris. Most things are.

But everything never goes as planned.  And there’s never time to fit in everything one dreams of doing. Such is life.  Such is the inevitable progression of our finite time on earth. Such is mortality.
And then of course some things are just not good. Did this happen in Paris? Not with the city. Not at all.
But did you know that there is such a thing as Paris Disappointment Syndrome (the sole criterion for existence being a Wikipedia entry). Which I wish I had found before the trip. Or maybe not.  It exactly sums up my fears about visiting the city in a way that would likely have made me very anxious.  But Paris lived up to my expectations and then some.

Je suis déçu:

  • Being there during the summer had its downsides. Not many, but some. The major one was that many shops were on their summer break for July and/or August.  Shops, restaurants- a few of the places we wanted to check out just weren’t options.  But we had plenty to fill our time (and stomachs) anyway.
  • The Catacombs were one of the sights I wanted to see most (there were maybe 20-25 sights in that category).  It’s fairly out of the way of central Paris, and though we got there early in the morning Dad and I underestimated the length of the line/the popularity of the sight. It ended up not being efficient from a time perspective to do the catacombs.
  • The tour of the Opera Garnier is the most ridiculous thing ever.  Because it was summer we were in between seasons, so seeing a show was impossible. I was hoping to take a tour, but the tours are full-day extravaganzas consisting of two parts. Or you can do a half-day extravaganza of just one part.  I most wanted to see the theater/auditorium itself, but the tour doesn’t guarantee that the stage will be viewable on any given day.  Didn’t seem worthwhile.
  • Macaroons. I know. Now, this does not mean that your macaroon experience must be disappointing. But I am not very familiar with sugar at this moment in my life.  While the macaroons from Laduree had a very cool consistency- creamy, but with a rigid exoskeleton- having them in my life felt like a bite of pure sugar.  I preferred the Hermes ones, but not enough to feel that my quality of life would be elevated by deploying macaroons.
  • One particular meal that involved a sweet crepe and a milkshake. I’m always surprised in those moments that I discover that I am, in some ways, a full-blooded American girl.  I like my milkshakes thick and cold. And I think crepes taste funny with jam. Of course, that was one of the few times we ate at a cafe in a more tourist-y area. The crepe quality might have reflected that (and I loved the savory galette I ate).  But I stand by the clear dominance of American milkshakes on the international stage.
  • I underestimated the extent to which Shakespeare and Company would have devolved into a hideous tourist trap since its Hemingway heyday in the 1920s.  And by hideous I mean still completely gorgeous and full of books (holy of holies).  But they were letting people in one by one as other people left the store like it was the Dash Kardashian boutique in NYC (where I only went a long time ago because my beloved cousin REALLY REALLY REEEAAALLLLYYY wanted to go).  And it would have been impossible to look for/at books because of the traffic within the store.  And I prefer used books anyway. But you know, you really need a bit of silence and solitude to appreciate books (and small bookstores) in the right way.
  • Having a period from hell the last two days complete with a level of blood that put even Quentin Tarantino to shame.
  • Having to leave.

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