Paris Taught Me That The Less I Expect, The More I Enjoy My Journey
“Paris is a beautiful side of the world you should visit” my friend advised me about where I should visit in Europe.
I was like “okay, I think I can make my return from Paris, just so I could stroll around the city”
After a non-stop backpacking from Munich, Rome, Milan, Turino, and Zurich, which was really awesome for me. Paris was the last city before I returned back to Jakarta. It was the last city, so I was expecting there were many things I could experience there. I saw and heard many kinds of good things from my friend or anyone who had been there. As an instagramer, I also noticed many kinds of good pictures from Paris along with a nice caption telling the story behind those pictures.
Well known as a lovely country, Paris usually becomes a city where the newlywed spend their honeymoon. I was expecting too much because of those things. I wrote many things I wanted to see and experience. My imagination went too high as I witnessed many beauties along my way from Munich, passed Zurich and finally arrived in Paris.
The first impression of Paris
We arrived in Paris early in the morning at the bus station. Mrs. L who had been to Paris before told me that we needed to find a crowd place or at least a place that not really quite one. I still not figure it out why, but I just followed what she said. After checking our phone with a poor internet connection, we know that Gare du Nord was the nearest station was 1 kilometer from the bus terminal. We managed to reach the Gare du Nord without even speaking French at all. And, Yes! There were a lot of people, though it was early morning, but it felt like it was daytime. The first thing came to my mind was we need to find a rental locker to store our luggage because our check in time was in the afternoon.
Different with other countries I visited, Paris was quite different. It was easier to find a rental locker in Munich, Zurich or even Rome. As in Paris, they almost like to hide the rent locker. There is only one way to go to the locker location and it was only one place in Gare du Nord. You have to come in and out of the same lift. Not only that, you would need to put everything through the screening machine, like everything. It is hard if you bring a lot of stuffs and need to go through that way.
We left Gare du Nord when the sun still hasn’t shown its light. Our portable wifi was run out power so we decided to find a place to have a breakfast and charge the portable wifi. McDonalds was the answer when we saw the McDonalds sign right after we went out the station. We were heading inside the store, order some food, looking for some good spot where we could charge the portable wifi, and guess what? THERE IS NO ACTIVE PLUG AVAILABLE! WHAT! In this city and in this nicest spot, but we still couldn’t get what we are looking for. We decided to finish our breakfast first, while enjoying the view from inside the store.
I opened my laptop, then plugged my portable wifi into it. The best thing about bringing your heavy laptop while backpacking was you could use it to charge your gadget.
“Be careful, there are a lot of pickpocket near Gare du Nord!” a short text pop-up on my smartphone’s screen when the wifi is connected. That alerted us about something that we did not aware before. We started to check around us, and instead of enjoying the journey, we felt so insecure.
“Watch out for those people who ask for money in the street, just pass them behind!” another short text popped up on my smartphone’s screen as we left McDonalds. We have checked many times around us, and yes! It became really annoying for me.
As we found a way to go to our first “must-visit” destination in Paris, instead of feeling enjoyable on the journey I felt uncomfortable just by looking around. My expectation was getting lower than the first time. I was starting to catch the bad side about Paris. Everything about the beautiful Paris that I have heard and seen in Instagram, just flew away.
“Nothing even good about coming here” that was I thought when I was bumping into someone who lost his mind and yelled in the train. The joy of getting lost is no longer joyful, but partial joy and I started to complain about this and that.
Do not expect more to enjoy it more
We were lost in the middle of finding our way out of the station we alighted. As it was getting hard to find a way and at the same time I complained so much about how bad Paris was. We have taken the stairs instead of taking the lift to go up from the underground. I thanked God for the stairs. It was high enough to make me sweaty, and to wash my brain and my heart to stop complaining and start for the real joy of the journey.
A nice welcome from a street musician as he celebrated that I finally got on my sense back to see that there was a good side in everything in the whole world.
We noticed that we were in Mairie de Paris as we saw the advertising board across the street, which meant that it closed enough to our destination. Nice feeling started to fill me that it would be easier to find other places.
This is out of my plan though. Yet I found this place and managed to take my picture there.
Paris is indeed beautiful in its own way. Every side of it reflects its beauty, which is not in a common way people see. Despite everything I heard, or I have seen with own eyes, to experience itself was a unique adventure I would be proud to remember.
The family-like person and I walked more through the way and looked what we found. A bunch of stores where you could buy many hand-gift to bring it back as a gift for your family. Tips: while you were strolling around you can take a picture just right in the middle of it with the Sacré-Cœur as the background.
The palace and Musee du Louvre were our next destination, we managed well to get to this place thanked to the sign that was easy to find along the way.
The Unique city
Everything went well as we or perhaps I started to get along with the transport in Paris, especially after I got locked when I tapped the subway card machine and left behind as my family-like people did not notice that I was still behind the bar. Instead of complaining about it, I was just laughing because I never thought they would leave me behind, like at all. THAT’S IT! ENJOY IT GOSH! I said that to myself, and everything became more beautiful.
So, if you happen to come to Paris or many other places in the whole world, do not put your expectation high instead put it as lower as you could, so when you passed this underground, you would not complain or feel bad about it. Just think as it is a part of uniqueness from its city.
Paris has taught me a lesson that I have probably forgotten for a while. The less I expect, the more I enjoy my journey. When I started to see everything in a different way, I began to acknowledge even every simple thing most people would not notice about it. And surprisingly, I witnessed the beauty of its city.
The love city has taught me to respect everything more. Love is not only about between two people who care each other. It is also about to embrace every not-good side in everything and start to be thankful for everything.
Do not afraid, be straight point
We back to Gare du Nord after visiting the last destination on our list, thus we skipped one place. I thought everything was starting to get better, but then,
“Taxi? Where are you going?” a tenor voice asked us a question just right when we alighted from the elevator after fetching our baggages.
“Yes. To Bastille.” I answered as we planned to take a taxi to the airbnb. Then he talked to a guy behind us in French.
“Excuse me, sir, 80 euro?” I asked him
“Yes, go to the elevator, please” He tried to push us into the elevator without even give us a chance to know why it was costing 80 euro. We have been told that the cost from Gare de Nord to our airbnb was 11 euro by taxi.
“No, thank you, sir. We don’t need that” Mrs. L straight answered and left him behind, so do we, while he was starting to yell at us.
I surely never thought it would happen at the moment I was finally able to enjoy my journey.
Tips: be a straight point if you bump someone like that. Do not follow something or someone that you are confused or not sure at all.
Oh Yes, I Will
“Will you go back to Paris someday?” Ms. D asked me when we were about to reach the airport on the next day
“At the beginning I would love to come here again, but then I felt like I did not want to come here again. At the end, I thought I would come here again, so the answer was, sure, why not?” I smiled after I said that, a good sign that I probably took longer time in my next Europe visit.
Au revoir, Paris!