Paris Syndrome

Sad Girl Paris

People are always taking about the bizarre affliction that occasionally befalls Japanese visitors to the French capital, and I’ve never quite understood it.

Symptoms of Paris Syndrome include acute delusional states, hallucinations, anxiety, and dizziness; and are thought to be brought on by the combination of high expectations of the city and the harshness of its daily reality.

The Japanese embassy even runs a 24-hour hotline exclusively for sufferers.

Lately though, I’ve been wondering if I haven’t been experiencing a slight bout of Paris Syndrome myself.

Except for me, it isn’t the city that’s failing to live up to my high expectations, it’s the version of me in the city that falls short.

I imagined that Paris-Me would enjoy regular long walks through the Parc Monceau, lengthy writing sessions at my window desk and the simple beauty of home cooking. Regular yoga sessions would be her norm and café terraces, her playground.

And for a little while, that’s more or less how Paris-Me did things. But soon enough, a busy teaching schedule, mountains of lesson prep, grocery runs and washing loads and piles of dishes, and well, life got in the way.

And so months have escaped since my last shavasana, I routinely jump on the metro just to go two stops and the other evening I decided that making a pasta dish out of fridge-and-cupboard leftovers was a good idea.

It wasn’t.

A crappy week was topped off by the reception of my first, real, blatantly clear written rejection for my book, and what’s more, the revolving door sensor at BNP Paribas didn’t even recognise me as a person.

And as far as I know, there’s no hotline for that.

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Image courtesy of GDVisuals on Flickr.

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