With all the group activities, tours and social obligations behind us, I decided preemptively to sleep in. It’s a good thing, because I woke up feeling feverish and nauseated and still completely exhausted in spite of a full night’s sleep.
I laid in bed until noon, playing the mental game of hangover or cold, deciding on the latter. It was raining lightly outside, so there’s not much you can do without being completely overrun with crowds, the exact opposite of what I’d want right now.
I officially called it a zero day and went back to bed, but wasn’t able to get much sleep. So instead, I dicked around on tumblr, and contemplated the universe. I came to the following conclusions about Paris:
1) Paris is undeniably a beautiful and historic city. It’s architecture, museums and monuments are worth the trip alone.
2) Paris is a crazy city. The traffic pattern alone around the Arc de Triumph is mind boggling, a roundabout with no lines, lights or reason. Somehow people manage to navigate it without incident. I believe this is due to a gps chip implanted in all Parisians at birth.
3) The Parisians themselves are ludicrously beautiful. Their sense of pristine, flawless and effortless style is both mind-boggling and intimidating. Although the guidebook indicated not to “dress like an American tourist,” it’s impossible to truly blend, especially after four straight days of walking.
4) Paris is a tough city. Although some people rag on the French, I dare you to try it to one of their faces. Better yet, do it on the metro, during rush hour in the dank, human waste stench in your Dallas Cowboys teeshirt. The homeless population in this city is as big a problem as anywhere in the world. But I’ve yet to encounter another city where a homeless person will just up and change their clothes right in the middle of the street, underwear be damned.
5) Even if you don’t speak French, try. Learn the few key phrases, hello, goodbye and please. A lot of French people do know English, but find it rude if you begin a conversation without any effort.