The moment I stepped on French territory,my heart soared. Every inch of me was waiting for the adventure that was Paris (despite the fact that I take Spanish in school). Being someone who loves art, I especially looked forward to the Louvre. I couldn’t wait to explore it and look at all the beautiful paintings, many older than the country I called home. I was sure that nothing could ruin the optimism I had for my time in Paris!
And that was my first mistake. Paris was so rushed! Every time we had a moment free to explore was in the most literal sense a moment. I felt like all the things I had come to see (The Eiffel Tower, The Notre Dame, The Arc de Triumph) had all flashed before my eyes before I could truly suck up all the culture I seeked to find there. I was also disgusted with how sorely I stuck out in my tourist group. I could feel eyes on me, ready to thieve or poke fun. I convinced myself that no such thing would happen at the Louvre.
Again, I was wrong. While standing under one of the arches outside (the name escapes me, if it had one) I was pooped on by a pidgeon! And after only entering about 5 or 6 halls in the Louvre I followed a small group that I thought was going to the Catacombs. I felt that if I would be seeing another great part of Paris, I could compromise some time.
However, I only found out after I was past the point where I could return to the Louvre that the group was actually going to a Johnny Depp restaurant. So, instead of crying, as I wished to do, I left the Louvre to meet the tour guide at the designated spot (it happened to be the same arch that had the mischievious pidgeon).
After standing there for 10 minutes my feet began to hurt so I looked for a spot to sit. I looked past the shrubbery and found steps that looked comfortable enough. So I sat down and I felt something that is still hard for me to put into words.
As I sat in that hidden place I could hear Paris natives hiding from tourists. I knew they were talking about them from their voices. But the thing was that no one asked me what I was doing. No one poked fun at me.
While sitting there in my solitude people passed and waved or smiled. I sat there with my thoughts. It was an odd meditation of sorts. I felt like I had been correctly placed. I wasn’t there to collect as many T-shirts as my luggage would hold (in fact my baggage was insanely light).
I was there to immerse myself in culture. I was there to learn. I was there to take in memories that would stay in my mind forever. And my personal sanctuary at the Louvre truly proved to me that I had fallen in love with Paris.
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