Paris, finally. They said it’s a city of love, a city of light, a city of fashion, and a city of dream. Its famous Eiffel Tower has been the wallpaper of my desktop and phone during my adolescence time. Quote said a bad day in Paris is better than anywhere else. Audrey Hepburn also once said, “Paris is always a good idea.” But is it tho?
I came to Paris with millions of excitement. I have these high expectations of Paris. I picture Paris just like in the Midnight in Paris movie. But people say, set your expectations low.
I landed in CDG around 1pm and the immigration line divided into two section, the citizen of EU and non-citizen of EU. Both queues were long. I waited anxiously because there was a problem with my flight and I was afraid if it’s gonna affect my visa. Then when it is my turn in the line, the immigration officer just take my passport, stamp it, took my fingerprint, and that’s all. IT’S THAT EASY! They don’t even look at my face?
Okay, so I landed in Paris. Then I took the train to the city center. A nice officer helped me with the ticket even tho her English wasn’t that good. That was a good first impression of people in Paris. But my impressions changed as soon as I boarded the train from CDG to Gare du Nord. It is true to be aware of the pickpocket in Paris. Long story short, my dad almost got pickpocketed, in the train, still in the airport, and the pickpocket was two women. They acted like a tourist with a map asking my dad about the direction and surrounded my father. While the other acted like confused pointing at the map, the other was trying to reach my father pocket. Good thing that my brother realized their bad intention and pulled my dad. When they knew that we knew their intention, they just run outside the train.
The train took us to Gare du Nord. I expected a chic train station (you know, like the one in a movie), but it was so dark, packed with people, and even smelled like pee?! The metro train is also as not as sophisticated. I can even say that the metro in Istanbul is better? I don’t know.
Paris is always about Eiffel Tower. Of course, first thing first I need to visit the famous tower. I visited Eiffel the next day, arrived around 8am because I was too excited to explore Paris. Trocadero wasn’t that crowded that morning, so I could take photos here and there fuss-free. Some people were so extra, bringing their own photographer and lightning to take photos. I guess they were bloggers or some kind of influencers? But I got it because Eiffel Tower as photo background is pretty.
I walked down Trocadero to the fountain area, also still not so crowded. But unfortunately, because it was early, the famous carousel wasn’t operating and they covered it with some kind of sheets, so not good for taking pictures. I walked right to Bir-Hakiem. I love love love this spot! You know, the famous spot under the bridge, where you can see the Eiffel Tower peeking surrounded by the Seine river.
Next is Arc de Triomphe. I just took a photo in front of the landmark, then walked along Avenue des Champs-Elysees. Stop in some stores, H&M, Foot Locker, Adidas, but ya girl is too broke to shopping. Got some ice cream in McDonalds. Wanted to pee in McDonalds but it was dirty. Stop in a supermarket to buy some groceries. Stop in Burger King to buy fish burger. Life hack, Burger King fish burger is pretty cheap compared to other fast food chains, also halal because it’s fish?
After some time, we then reached Petit Palais and Grand Palais. I guess it’s theater and art exhibition arena? I don’t know, because my Europe trip this time is mostly just photo stop, we don’t have time to explore the pretty buildings and museum one by one. Also because it was costly and we have to four times every admission 😦
Paris was so hot that day, really hot! But I keep on walking to the Pont Alexandre III and Les Invalides. The scenery from Pont Alexandre is beautiful, FYI. Took photos and decided to take a bus to go to Jardin du Luxembourg. I relied on Google Maps a lot and thank God the information was right, I managed not to get lost.
Speaking about Jardin du Luxembourg, I was quite disappointed because the grass was not that green, lots of cigarettes butt, the garden was too dusty, and the chairs were full of bird’s shit. But you have to find the beauty in everything, so I think the front part of the garden is lovely with all the flowers, blocks tree, and the castle-like building.
Oh by the way, by that time I explore Paris, I thought I could see the famous Parisienne with their chic outfit. But all I see was everyone dresses like usual. Maybe because I went to the wrong place, maybe it’s not the season, I don’t know. Also, most people I asked spoke English. I was so worried because most people said French people don’t speak English and they don’t want to. But everyone speaks English quite well, based on my experience.
Later that afternoon, I visited Louvre. My naive thinking taught the Louvre pyramid is big, but it was not that big in reality. If I compared it with the fake Louvre in Summarecon Mall Bekasi, maybe the one in Bekasi is bigger? Hahaha, I don’t know but I really think it is! There’s a mall under the pyramid, so I decided to grab some coffees and bites, also because I need to pee and I guess Starbucks must have their own toilet, but it wasn’t. The toilet in the mall was so cramped, the queue was long so I had to hold my pee.
Then when it’s near the sunset time, I go back to the Eiffel Tower to have a picnic. But the ground was dusty, the grass had holes here and there, too many souvenirs and wine sellers and asking us to buy, somehow it got annoying. But I managed to buy some keychain, it was €1 for 10 pieces. I regretted not buying a lot of them, because I can’t find any other keychain with that cheap price.
Oh, by the way, my dad almost got pickpocketed again in the Eiffel Tower. He was carrying a backpack and some strange guy following him on the back. My dad was too busy playing with his phone and doesn’t realize that the guy is getting closer and trying to do something to the backpack or the back pocket. My brother who walked on the back realized and shout at that guy. He panicked, ran away, but shouted back angrily at us. What the hell?! So people, be careful of your belongings when you explore Paris.
Then I closed my days with the twinkling flashing Eiffel Tower at night. It was magical. So I wrapped the first day in Paris. Paris, I don’t know but you are different from what I expected. Maybe I set my expectation too high and somehow got disenchanted. Should I go back, explore more, and see the real beauty of you?
Enjoy the real footage of Paris in my vlog~