Living in Madrid for a semester has it's fair share of advantages, one being travel opportunities. Last week I was lucky enough to go to Amsterdam and Paris with my best friend and some other people from my study abroad program. Amsterdam was amazing, with great shopping, beautiful canals, friendly people, and of course, coffee shops. Paris, however, was quite a different story. While the whole city was absolutely gorgeous, it was the people of Paris who really made an impression...
Really the most comprehensive way for me to explain the oddities that I encountered is in list form:
- For our first meal we go to a seemingly charming cafe, in which the waiter proceeds to stroke my hair on multiple occasions and give my friend and me two lingering kisses on our cheeks, as, in his words, compensation for his "inability to go out that weekend".
- We follow up the meal with a little shopping. Upon our entrance to a shoe store, we are greeted with, "are you from America, do you like the night?" from an old woman. Baffled, my friend replies, "um, yes we do, do you like the night?" She gives us a lackluster head nod and returns to her cash register. Um, unless she was trying to discreetly get us into her prostitution business, I am lost.
- Amidst a heated political rap battle between my friend and a random french man (still quite confused as to how this began), he responds to an insult to Sarkozy by aggressively chasing after her and pulling her hair.
- And the cherry on top: at the louvre, i believe someone attempted to hit on me (I'm still confused if that was his actual motive), by informing me that I looked exactly like his dog. Apparently our eyes are identical. Now that is definitely something every girl wants to hear.
There were a few more instances including a strip show in the club we chose to attend (which incidentally had a 20 euro cover charge), and being accosted by an angry australian in our hostel, which all added up, left a sour taste in my mouth. Although I know at some point, I should give Paris another chance, I am glad to say that for now I live in Madrid.