I miss France. I do. You know why? Because absence makes the heart grow fonder. But really, it does. I would love to go back to Versailles and illegally picnic, sketch the statues, and pretend I am Marie Antoinette. Perhaps I’d bring a man to row me around the canal, then photobomb a wedding party, and break into the horse stable to ride across the lawn and party like it’s 1699.
Whenever you leave somewhere, it’s hard not to reminisce on memories that didn’t exist, to poetically paint an experience that never occurred, or in Layman’s terms: to turn the miserable into the whimsical. While Paris was kind of a struggle thanks to housing issues and being the oldest person in my program (a pitfall of the almost impossible task of studying abroad during senior spring) I had some experiences that my pre-Parisian self could never have fathomed. While the majority of people I met made me want to curl up like a dead spider, a pretty hefty handful made me rethink my faith in humanity. Those were the people, like the docent at Versailles, who made me grateful that I endured the expected low-points in order to both experience and appreciate the remarkable moments like getting behind the scenes tours of one of the greatest buildings in the world. (Other examples included obliviously dining with socialites, scoring on vintage Alaia, and walking up the Eiffel tower in 25 degree weather with adventurous classmates).
This photo, for me, represents the clean, French beauty that is internationally and multi-generationally cherished. Regardless of anyone’s opinion of the modern residents of France or the insanity of such a longstanding aristocracy, their architecture is a universal wonder. No matter what happens while in France (specifically Paris), no one can strip your experience of the visual pleasure of gilded goddesses, babies, kings, and horses perched upon ornate buildings snuggled next to each other around manicured parks, teeming with roses, musical fountains, and laughing children. If that’s not enough bait to get you over there, I don’t know what is. Macarons? Wine? Saucisson? Marcel Marceau? Oh crap, he’s dead. Maybe getting a glimpse of Hollande’s babelicious First Lady? Maybe you want to get in touch with your inner Napoleon complex? (He was actually 5’7″ though).
Okay I’ll stop. Just go.