I walked on the crowded streets with my family. There were huge glittering signs covering and exposing everything in its way. The posters of slim models and great luxury goods loomed before the wide and clean streets. While walking I couldn’t help to notice the lush gardens arranged in gorgeous designs, the waterfalls, and the beautiful restaurants. The people were clothed with the finest silks and they drove the best cars: Lamborghinis, Ferrari’s, etc. Sweet fragrances of pastries and sweets filled the aroma of the streets. The bright lights of the city at night made everything resplendent and, probably, the brightest city in the world. That’s what it was like in Champs-Elysses, France.
The smell suffocated you. That smell of old gasoline and burned food. Papers of every kind were on the ground: love letters, newspapers, advertisements, explicit pictures. The streets were so crowded and limited, slim and dirty. I wonder why anybody would live here. The apartments looked like they were going to fall any minute, and the amount of clubs and bars on the streets was innumerable. Everyone looked like they needed something. Somebody looked like they needed happiness; another looked like they needed love; somebody else looked like they needed some money. Everyone looked like they needed something. The shop keepers stood outside their shops trying to get people to buy their fake Gucci suits, while the other shop keepers stood with a thick rain coat spun around their bodies. This was a slum. A slum that was fifteen minutes away from Champs-Elysses.
Traveling is a powerful experience. While traveling to France, I experienced the super wealthy lifestyle as well as the working lifestyle. Two different worlds only fifteen minutes apart. The upper-class of France was truly exquisite. Staying at the Arc de Triumph Hilton Hotel, I experienced true kingship: classy cars, huge chandeliers, great service, etc. Walking out of the hotel, there were shops that were filled with delicious foods and high-priced items. The natives of France who lived in this area were all so wealthy. The streets in this area were wide, green trees and big water fountains were all around. But driving a little downtown one could see an extreme difference. The streets were slim, the air filled with an awkward aroma, more bars and clubs were around. It was a different world. It comes to show that no where in the world is perfect. Even in the city of lights. There will always be opposites; opposite incomes, lifestyles, cars, and living. Going to France taught me just that: that though a country is gorgeous there are always parts that exhibit financial hardships and lifestyles. Parts that really don’t shine as bright as its name.
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