A Love Letter to Paris

Bonjour mon amour,

How are you? I miss you and I think about you often. Time and again, I find myself daydreaming, thinking about walking your streets. Remembering that blissful feeling that I get in your company, even when it’s pouring with rain. I must visit soon!

Do you remember the first time we were together? All those years ago? We’ve been together many times since then, but do you remember the first time? I walked along the Seine, attempted to recreate that part from “An American in Paris”, trailing my hand along the brick wall and savouring the feel of cobblestones beneath my feet. Although I was nowhere near as elegant as Leslie Caron and there was no Gene Kelly lookalike in sight, I still relish that magical moment.

A Love Letter to Paris

I always tell people about you, about my love for you and the way you make me feel. Some people I met recently saw you and left with a sour taste in their mouths. They wanted to fall in love with you but they didn’t. They thought you were ugly and dirty, and they were repulsed. I think they were disappointed and hurt, because they expected something different. They don’t see what I see. Where they see your ugliness, I see your history, shining proud in your architecture. While they see dirt, I see your character, seeping out from every crack in every street. I am charmed where they are repulsed, by the music that fills the metro and the smells of the boulangerie each morning. Yes, you’re not perfect, but neither am I. We can be flawed together.

While others see dirt, I see your character, seeping out from every crack in every street. I am charmed where they are repulsed, by the music that fills the metro and the smells of the boulangerie each morning. Yes, you’re not perfect, but neither am I. We can be flawed together.

Black and white photo of the Sacre-Coeur in Paris

Sunset in central Paris

As time passes, I feel as though my French is slipping away, but when I come back to you it’s like I’ve never left. The honey coated words roll off my tongue and the melodic sounds leave my mouth. Before I know it, I’m stuffing my face with delicious pastries, onion soup or cous cous. Yes, cous cous! I never leave you without visiting my favourite Algerian restaurant, that little unassuming place in the 11th arrondissement. Soon, Algerian words have slipped in among the French ones and the table is piled high with foods from my childhood. It’s one of the things I love about you: the mix of people that you accept, the ways in which their cultures seep into yours, the melting pot that you’ve created. I savour it all.

No matter how many times I am with you, I will always discover something new; a new church, a new bookshop, a new café. I am happy when we are together and I promise to come visit soon.

All my love, forever and ever,

Zahia

The Love Letter Project

Love Letter Project

The Globonaut Love Letter Project is a team effort by international travel enthusiasts that examines the fascinating relationship between cities and people. It is an exploration of how people make a city come alive, but also how a city becomes part of who you are. Most of all, the Love Letter Project is a celebration of strong local bonds in an age of rapid globalisation, showing how local and global aren’t necessarily opposite terms.

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