When everybody of importance leaves Paris for NYFW, that’s when I hit the streets of Paris. (No wonder the restaurants and attractions were markedly less crowded)
I spent my Chinese New Year in Paris. We stayed at the Hotel Scribe on 1 Rue Scribe in the Opera neighborhood, just a 2 minute walk away from Boulevard Haussmann, Printemps and Galeries Lafayette. The trip – lasting 6 days – was a good break from the monotony of school and being away from the bustling crowds in Hong Kong, where everybody was celebrating the New Year.
We also visited Reims and Val d’Europe. In Reims it was a wet and windy day, so we only managed to visit the Notre-Dame cathedral and walk around the restaurant area. But all in all, I think it was a great experience; the food was divine, and we didn’t need to visit the tourist attractions to already feel the spirit and atmosphere of Paris.
However what I found the most surprising is that
1. There is no unified “Parisian style” and
2. I fell in love with Paris
You may contradict me on the first point, but hear me out. The so-called striped sailor blue and white tees, jeans and flats were just not present anywhere. Maybe because of the cold, windy weather?
In all honesty, if everyone in Paris were to dress identically, then that wouldn’t be “style” or being unique; that would be conformity and uniform. What I hope to get across is that when in Paris, you don’t have to be like the Parisiens.
But what I thought was the ultimate pleasant surprise was the immediate enthusiasm if you greet and try to speak French throughout your conversation. My parents encouraged me to practice my speaking skills and I’m proud to say my iGCSE French seemed to pay off, not to mention bringing smiles to both me and the waiters, shopkeepers or even pedestrians.
And besides, who says you can’t wear your stripes vertically?