Thoughts on ‘La Ville de Parfum Fumé’

I haven’t written for this site in just over a month.

It has been difficult to settle,

to deal with everything.

Now, I feel some stability, some feeling that I can handle things. Still, I don’t feel homesick. I like life in France. Never regretted my move once.

I started French lessons a week ago. Words are beginning to emerge from that ‘woosh’. I feel happy sometimes that I can glean some meaning from what people are saying to me.

How long till I will be able to respond? Who knows. I struggle to express myself.

I posted an article on this website, which started as a note on my phone, while travelling from class – La Ville de Parfum Fumé. It is possibly a signifier of my privilege and/or my lack of experience in big cities. But I still find it interesting: the clash between the ‘high’ culture of perfumes and fashion and the streets that do not seem to belong to the reputation of the city’s cultural output.

Every day, tourists and people like myself flock to the City of Romance, the heart of that Great Revolution signified by the Bastille monument. We know the dangers. The métro warns of pickpockets, and the streets of Montmartre and the Eiffel Tower are filled with tourist traps. Yet the perception still clouds over the vast majority of social realities, many I am yet to see.

Some I shall never see.

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