Read while listening to this.
Some days I wake up with an intense nostalgia for Paris: The rain never fails to have that effect on me.
As I sit in my Belgrade apartment watching the rain fall from the dark clouds my mind wanders in and out of memories from June of 2015, when I was lucky to spend a week galavanting on a Parisian vacation.
I like to think that you don’t really know a place until you’ve seen it in the rain. Until you’ve watched as locals scramble for cover or a place to wait out the weather- some in a cafe, a few in museums, others running to get home so they can hunker down with some tea and a blanket by the window. I’d be the latter, in Paris.
I’ve never felt particularly fond of French culture (except for maybe the food because, I mean, how could I not), nor have I spent considerable time in the country, but over the past two years since I’ve cultivated a strange fondness for it in my heart- a niche full of contentment and tranquility.
Tranquility. It’s certainly not a descriptor often applied to a city such as Paris, bustling with tourists at all times and crowded with locals and students just trying to make it through- it’s much like New York in that way.
The afternoons I spent in a grey and rainy Paris will always bring me a sense of comfort, though, as I remember the ease with which I went about my days, staying out of the crowds and basking in the freedom of my first actual vacation in years.
My hotel window granted me that whimsical street view that is unique to Paris. With its sprawling streets of regal, yet somehow common, buildings its majesty remains unmatched.
No matter where I am this is where I want to be when the sky opens up: curled up next to a window, tea in hand, as I watch the rain fall on the flowers in the window box across the street.
Belgrade is almost an acceptable substitute; character runs deep, as it does in Paris, but Belgrade is something darker- its scars more recent, given less attention as they’ve healed.
I’m not sure when I’ll make it back to France (here’s to hoping for this fall), but today I’ll let the rain take me there as I sit, not in a posh Paris hotel room, but far away in Serbia dreaming of things yet to come.
See more photos in the Paris gallery here.