Paris Letters

So back at Indigo, I read a few chapters. And perhaps my love at first sight with the Paris Letters mimicked that of Janice’s love for Christophe. I was timid, not knowing anything about this book I just picked up off of the travelling section.

Who knew there was even such a thing as travel literature? Oh it almost feels like I was introduced far too late to this whole scene. But it was great, with my own few trips to Paris, I could recall the small moments of successfully ordering something in French as well as how exciting just being somewhere and enjoying the moment. You can spend years studying a language (in my case, far too long) and yet it still feels so foreign until you truly soak it all in, in the country itself.

First I thought this was all about romance. But it was so much more. As I’m at the point of unemployment, often disappointed, it was so nice to hear from someone who’s gotten there. And surprisingly, it was such a relief to actually read that with everything she wanted, she craved for something else. It was a relief, that perhaps with all my career/life goals, sometimes we can’t hold on to things too tightly. Don’t get my wrong, I’m still devastated that I’m being thrown further and further away from my desired course, but it’s amazing to see how Janice plans hopeful goals into her life equation. As I admired her courage to quit her stability for an adventure, I also took mental notes on the realistic steps she took towards her goals.

I’m a dreamer. As I started this blog admitting that I like to dream, I should perhaps come clean and say I indulge in it. I’m the person who tries to put myself back to sleep when I awake from a dream. I’m the person, who if you were to ask hypothetical questions, could lay out a whole novel for you with my imagination on the loose. But reality turned me into a pessimist, slowly, I’ve found myself telling my friends that ‘la vie est jamais en rose’. Perhaps life’s lemons have made me bitter and sour. I am a fighter, but exhaustion made me recognize that life, at least my life, can’t be seen in rosy pink.

So it was marvellously delightful, to read about Janice’s dream to buy herself a year long vacation and more so read all her little tricks (there’s even a whole list of them at the very end!) that catered to the pessimistic side of me. Not to mention, for someone who moves an average of at least once a year, I was paying close attention to how she fit her whole life into one suitcase. I told a friend that perhaps this book could be my inspiration, as he too recognized that I loved France enough that I would just stay there upon next visit… well that’s the dream, haha.

I got to re-live some classic Paris-Canadian moments for myself. Janice is a great writer, and I quickly found myself back to my Parisian moments. Weaving through the crowd for Mona Lisa’s smile, just to check it off the list. Debating on whether not to buy a Navigo card. A growing obsession with the buttery croissants. The difficulties of avoiding scammers around tourist attractions. Or even, as precise as the moment I had to say goodbye to a dear friend at CDG. Somehow, as a fellow Canadian, it was easy to jog my Parisian moments.

To top it all off, her watercolour art! Those who know me know how much I love watercolour art. Oh, how I chuckled when she said that her inner Percy Kelly said that it’s okay for water to drip… it was a fountain after all! Personally, I love the fluidity of watercolour art, but the lack of control drives me mad! Art oxymoron right there. From an artistic standpoint, I was able to relate and admire.

Of course, a lot of it seems far-fetched for me. After all, as much as I wonder whether we would be best buddies if I ever encountered Janice in my life, I knew that there are still striking differences. For one, in my head I can’t stop imagining how gorgeous she must be to have a butcher notice her when she sips her coffee. I actually refrained from searching up the author of Paris Letters, just so I could focus on reading the book, living the fantasy, rather than her wikipedia entry (though that’s what I’ll do when I finish my blog entry). Thankfully, they put her picture at the end of the book. For another, she’s also at a much stronger place financially as I’m still swimming in my student loans.

All being said, I am immensely grateful for the little taste of what little or lot we need to go on an adventure. She took small steps to achieve her big dream, and was welcomed with a greater surprise! She had me back to searching about jobs and visas in France. However, she also reminded me that maybe on taking even the less than ideal job, I could start planning for my next travel… or takes small steps to my greater dreams. It’s always nice to have a little hope up my sleeves.

Until then, bisous and à bientôt.

P.S. In the meantime, I’m open to any suggestions on improving my Français.

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