Sunday, January 4, 2009

By The Way

I found this travel review of Paris online and fell in love with it. I personally enjoy Paris, but this guy had other thoughts:

If the smell of urine and sewage is your idea of romance, Paris is the city for you. Paris was the most filthy, disgusting place I've ever had the misfortune to visit. It is difficult to be romantic when the streets and the air are filled with urine and sewage. It is even more difficult to keep up one's spirits by the horrendous service one receives in the restaurants and hotels. The restaurants are unclean. The floors look horribly unwashed, and flies swarm in abundance. Their concept of nonsmoking is to remove the ashtray from your table, although your waiter may smoke while serving you. In general, Paris is a Third World country masquerading as a civilized society. The Louvre is highly overrated. By the way, you can smell the Notre Dame Cathedral before you can see it.
So anyway, I'm in love. How can you resist someone who can articulate like this? The passion! I adore it. But I hope this guy stays home in Charlotte or Utica or wherever he's from. I've met folks like him when I've traveled, and we're all better for it if they just stay put.


  1. You know, one thing that struck me about Paris was how *wonderful* it smelled! At least, by my hostel in Montmartre (sp?). I can't describe the smell, but it was heavenly. It was my first night in Europe on my first trip overseas alone, and that smell ... wow. The other Paris districts didn't have a smell at all, from what I remember :) But Paris was too huge for me. It was really overwhelming.

  2. I didn't like Paris the first time, but fell in love with it the second. I think that it can be hard to love a place that you have known through novels and pictures and reputation when you finally get to really know it, at first.

  3. This reminds me of the tourist I overheard in Venice complaining that the buildings were too old and decrepit. Then there was the Texan couple who gave me a lift in Bavaria who spent 30 minutes reiterating their revulsion that european girls didn't wear full make-up from the age of 10.

    I seem to know an entirely different Paris to your furious friend, but I agree that he lets rip with aplomb. Perhaps he should be sponsored to tour the world raging against everything that is unfamiliar?

  4. Hysterical! I think you should snatch this guy up and make him your own.

    Although, my trips to Paris have been quite the opposite. One of these days we're moving to Ile St. Louis.

  5. What a "review", I wonder what really happened to him when he was at Paris... seems like someone had other issues than just the smell. :D

    I've only been to Paris when I was very young... wish I could visit again some day.

  6. He forgot the terrible crime against tourists and crazy taxi drivers.

  7. Sounds like the perfect review . . . from someone who probably slept in the bus station.


  8. i lived in paris the summer after high school graduation.

    urine? yes. a million times over, yes.

    louvre? overrated.

    but notre dame? that made me a bit homicidal. it was the only place i could escape ... and i went every single afternoon. just to sit. and it smelled of the prickly bushes in the courtyard. and ice cream. and children running around and playing with one another in all different languages. i miss it.

  9. I agree -- people like this guy should not travel. And he should stay out of NYC too while he's at it.

    Oh - and happy new year to you too!

  10. I always laugh at these people who go to cities that are hundreds and hundreds of years old and then complain that it's not like being at home.

    I've lived in France, and it's definitely not like being at home, and I wouldn't have it any other way.