Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A little story about Paris and me

Often when people ask about places I've been and things I've done, I mention Paris. Not because my passion for the place, because I don't feel I ever had that sensation within me, for that particular city. In fact, I don't think I am fascinated by any particular city in the world, it is the people everywhere that interest me, not the cities.

However, every day when I walk across the old town of Klaipeda, which is considerably small, compared to other old towns of the world, I have this beautiful appreciation for the architecture, for the old cobbled streets, for the old fashioned windows and the narrow streets. Then when people ask me about places like Paris, I try to remember whether I wasted my daily walk down the Tuileres, did I look, did I really value my time there and the surroundings? To be honest I really don't know.

My life in Paris, was hardly glamorous or even charming, I was barely surviving on very little money, and my actual address was in a Northern suburb of Paris and not in the city, it wasn't the greatest place to be either, but it was cheap. I sang in the street to try and earn a little bit of extra cash, and believe me you I am not the next best thing, and I would never give up my day job to try and make some career by singing. No it wasn't me, but I needed to live, to survive, it is difficult to be all alone in a strange city with no friends and no support when you're really hungry, and it's cold and you do not have a coat, it is hard when your shoes fall apart and you don't have the money to buy a new pair. And I suppose this is one of the reasons Paris and I never got along very well, we learned to co-exist with each other, to tolerate each other's existence, but we never ever even attempted in establishing a relationship with each other, one of us could not be bothered and another simply was too tired and too busy trying to survive.

This whole thing brings me back to the first chapter of my book, and I wonder if I ever managed to explain the devastation the agony my spirit was in. How down one's soul can really fall?

Still, now, the time has passed. When I hear the language I can understand it, and that has a lot to do with me living in France with my husband for a year, but Paris was the first step, had I never lived n Paris I would have never been able to rent a house for my husband and I in France later and hence learn about the wine, the cheese and a little bit about fashion (you can see my priorities quite clearly here). Paris was my stepping stone, and only now, right this moment, when I am feeling this urge to be emotional can I say thank you to the city I never loved.

I chose the picture, for this post for a good reason, this is rue St. Martin, the street I would sing in every morning to earn some money, it used to be cold sometimes and every breath would freeze my nostrils, but that was my Paris. One cold autumn, one miserable soul, one very beautiful city that was never appreciated by that downhearted creature.

Funny thing is, while in Paris, I wrote every day. It is a very hard thing to do while in comfort, but it seems to come quite naturally to me when depressed.

Now I'm just concerned whether it's a good idea of me not wanting to step my foot on the Parisian soil ever again?

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