Paris has beautiful monuments. Paris has great food in lovely restaurants. The cultural life (exhibitions, concerts, festivals) in the French capital is unparalleled. Yet, when I was about to leave the city, I thought to myself: “I never wish to return to this place”. Why?
The answer is simple: Paris is great for tourists, on the surface. If you dig deeper, you’ll find it’s much more boring than quite many places around the globe.
An undeniable example of this is the living situation. Apartments in the city are obscenely expensive but most of the places are incredibly small with bad heating and mobility issues. I’ve visited houses in Brazilian favelas which are much more comfortable and less run-down than most of the places I went to in Paris. Even luxurious apartments are small in comparison to Brazil or the USA.
Nevertheless, on the outside everything looks so beautiful and charming it really does fool one’s impression. Living in Paris, especially in the winter, has quite an oppressive feeling to it, because one feels cornered in those tiny apartments and the rainy and cold weather is totally unwelcoming.
When the museums, art galleries and the likes close, one really has no option. Dreadful.
This is a good reminder for those weak moments when one wishes to go back to a certain lifestyle out of pure nostalgia. In such a situation, the best answer is a plain “Thanks, but no, thanks“.