Paris in my head is a romantic, majestic place that mimics all the cuteness of the cartoon Madeline, the perfect uniqueness of Amelie, and the Eiffel Tower all rolled into one. The reality doesn't add up to that impossible equation, but I still have a small part of it in my heart.
Paris is not romantic. It has the most beautiful and planned architecture I have ever seen, but the attitude of the people make it outright annoying. The crowds of tourists and the irritated feel of the customer service makes it less and less romantic every second I'm there. Being vegan made them even more irritated and confused which was just...splendid. They thought we had a disease basically, but mostly they were offended that we were rejecting their way of life: bread, wine, cheese, meat, smoke - repeat.
I do have to admit that I am spoiled to live in America where customer service is 'the customer is always right'. You can take anything you can buy back to the store or restaurant. Most people are helpful and will smile at strangers. I guess in other countries they think that is the "dumb American helpfulness" but after enduring the fake kindness my whole life, it is hard to deal with the irritated French.
But all complaining aside, when we found amazing vegan restaurants and nice people - it was all the more exciting and wonderful. The daily markets are truly remarkable. We stayed in an Air bnb in the 13th Arr. on Rue Broca which was the best location to be in. You can wake up, take in the beautiful architecture, take the subway to the Eiffel Tower, Seine, Louvre, or just stroll through a park. Pick up some organic, flavorful food and have an impromptu picnic on the water.
My overall experience was not great. The French are cold to outsiders, which makes it not a very welcoming place. I could get used to the amazing health care, view, and food - not to mention location to every European country you could visit in a weekend. Also, Lucas' family and friends were really nice and hospitable to us. But maybe I can try the south of France next?