The joy of being a stranger in his homeland

October 23rd, 2014, 2am

Now three years away from Paris — I should say “Paris and Paris suburbs”1 — I could truly enjoy the beauty of la vieille ville européenne recently only.

As my wife and I were finally sitting in the Higuma restaurant in the Sainte Anne street, I decided to go for a classical Oyakodon with a non classical Evian. My wife’s reaction was then as prompt as my choice has been unorthodox:

-“Remember, in France social etiquette do not force you to ask for mineral water, you can ask for tap water2 instead!”.

-“I know, but today I want for once to live Paris as a true visitor, so maybe I could see the artificial beauty of the place, and not go behind the curtain of the scene, deciphering all the false promises…”

… when at the same time my eyes met my neighbor’s one by accident — a true Parisian for sure.

Our lunch went on, and as the couple aside finished their meal M. Neighbor could not repress the envy to salute us with a “Bienvenue à Paris, et bon séjour”, a smile in his eyes.

Which I certainly did, being able to wander the street; surrounded by a wonderful architecture, by inaccessible promises of cultural events and by hurried locals. I finally brought my own pace in my luggage, being finally a stranger in my homeland.

  1. which is an important distinction for people living inside the interior of the area delimited by the “peripherique”; a distinction which can catch you even 9.168,38 km away from Paris. 

  2. also known as “eau municipale” by the funny brasserie’s waiters. 

Shu and Christine said thanks.

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