Maybe I should start this one with the hashtag #JesuisCharlie. Maybe the newspaper shouldn’t have been so satirical. Maybe the Muslims shouldn’t have taken it so personally. Maybe we should all respect the freedom of expression. Maybe I shouldn’t get into this. Maybe just maybe…but what stands out is that people died, blood was shed, someone lost their loved one, someone lost their mother. For that reason then #JesuisCharlie. May their souls rest in peace.
On a happier note though… Paris’ lesson to me is one that I will always hold dear. One that I already knew again, but needed re enforcing. She taught me that strangers can indeed become family. That people have so much love in their hearts to give and even with all the evil in this world, we have hope. We surely do.
I was most hesitant about this trip than any other I took. The opportunity came forward at a time when I had my International Law class which meant I had so much reading to do. I had exams round the corner AND…i was getting broke. I have my awful shopping addiction to blame for that. There was no way I could possibly pay for a trip to Paris.
I texted my very good friend Feizal and I was like “Paris vs Food” and he was like “PARIS”. Well then, if I die of hunger then at least I went to Paris. If i fail my exams, at least I can say, “but I went to Paris”. It was decided! Flight ticket, BOOKED!!
The travel cost itself was not expensive, Like I said, travel within Europe is quite cheap, the cost of being there, however, is what scared me. And then…I met my hosts.
I will forever be indebted to them. I paid for the travel ,but, its all I paid for. From the moment we landed at Charles De Gaulle to when I landed back in Copenhagen , I did not spend a dime! My lovely hosts, Ethiopian bred but French Citizens now ensured that I felt at home.
They offered a room in their house for Hayat ( No,just cause she is Ethiopian doesn’t mean they were family or even close,no, she, just like I, just met them and only Knew a friend of theirs who she hadn’t seen since she was 10) and I so that we did not have to pay for a hotel. We dined like royalty and got served typical French breakfast every morning complete with croissants. Lunch was on them and I cannot forget the expenses they covered so that we could take the Metro as we went sight seeing. And let me tell you, we wanted to go EVERYWHERE! Blood is thicker than water….but even when blood was not similar they treated us like blood family. # Africansabroadunite.lol Merci , Merci , Merci.
I eventually get tired of sight seeing, but in Paris I couldn’t stop. I wanted to keep walking…no matter how far it would be. We went to the Eiffel Tower the same day we landed, we couldn’t wait. All the scenery was so breathtaking, I can only show you the pictures and even those do not do the city justice.
FRENCH MUSIC…..ahhh I fell in love.
There’s always a not so nice side to every coin and for me the one’s in Paris were the cleanliness. The cleanliness in the metro.And beggars. And thieves. These are all big city problems I have to admit but I do not know why I didn’t expect it.
The stench in the Metros was enough to convince me to walk thirty minutes than be at the same place in ten. The fight we watched in the metro when someone tried to steal from a passenger made me watch my bag like my life depended on it and even more when someone at the Eiffel Tower tried to steal Hayat’s handbag as we were taking pictures. AT that point my life depended on it, seeing as I had dumped my passport and my wallet with all my credit cards and money and Identification and and….you see My life did depend on it. lol The beggars on Champs elysees were a shocker… maybe its a perception we have, where we imagine that countries in the west do not face such problems, but in reality they actually do.
That being said,
Being in Paris was an amazing experience. One of those things that has to be on your bucket list. It is known for its fashion and my, my, the shops were beautiful…we literally wanted to walk into each one…but because of the amazing city that it was,shopping was the last thing we did.
From the Mona Lisa to Champs Elysees and Arc de triomphe all the way to Sacre coeur and up the Eiffel tower. I felt so, so much Love in Paris. The beauty humbled me and its people ,who I sampled with the small family that opened its doors to me, were quite the gems.
However, I must say I did not feel as special as I did in Paris like in Sweden. In Sweden my kinky hair and my “tanned” skin attracts attention…In France, I was nothing,lol. The Sudanese, Angolans , Nigerians etc had represented so much…I wasn’t an attraction.Lol. We were actually disappointed that we were not being noticed and were very excited when the first person stared at the two strange African girls when we landed back in Sweden.
I will definitely be back mon Cherie…DEFINITELY!