Being a newcomer in Hamburg since two weeks now, I think it’s just about time my nostalgia speaks up. How about “I miss Paris a lot”, to begin with. Who doesn’t, by the way? “If you are lucky enough to live in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast” as Ernest Hemingway has put it. I couldn’t agree more with him at this point. During my six-year experience of living in this city of light, I was not only struck by Paris because of its putting-fashion-on-everything kind of lifestyle, but I also miss these tiny details picked out from my daily routines.
The first thing I miss is always the public transport network. Not for its beauty or its smell but rather its effectiveness. Contrary to its punctuality, the instructions couldn’t get any better: easy-to-follow and well-designed. I actually miss this part of Paris everywhere I go.
The 37 bridges over the Seine River literally make life a little bit easier for you by just being there. Each of them, a combination of unnecessary fine art and simplicity, makes your “strolling in the street” a lot more enjoyable and gives it a royal-like feeling, if it’s not too exaggerating to say so.
I also miss its enormously huge supermarkets where I usually got lost in an infinity of choices. The comfort zone they have created for me was so large that it is so hard to get out now! I hope it is not too late though.
I miss the over-politeness of the Parisians that has now become part of a trained reflex that I got after living and practicing it for quite a long time. For the record, an unintentional bump in the forearm or a barely-noticeable touching of the purse would have led to an infinite turn-taking of “sorry” and “thank you”. I just realized how French I am when I found myself guilty of getting “too close” to people in the train here in Hamburg during rush hour and slipped out my apology immediately just to find out that they didn’t even bother turning their heads.
If there is one thing about Paris that is not fashionable, it must be the weather wardrobe: plain, grey, old coat every day. Sunlight has become some kind of a luxury here since you have to pay for train tickets to go get it somewhere else. Upon heading to Hamburg, a port city, I was so full of hope for better weather that I find myself in greater disappointment now than if I have never had such high expectations. It’s true that Hamburg is less gloomy weather-wise, but it puts you on a sunny-rainy ride every 5 minutes which I am not sure is better than the Parisian one.
The list could go on for pages if I keep living here for some more time, or I can just get used to it, I don’t know! Until then, make your own plan to visit Paris and living in your own nostalgia before sharing it with us one day, will you?