Paris – “It feels like we belong here”

These were Audrey’s words after our first three days in Paris (even though she was sick and in bed for one of them).  As we depart after barely four days in the city of lights, I have to agree.  Beyond the wonders of the obvious sights, Paris exudes a quality of everyday life that makes you wonder why you don’t live your life the way the Parisians do.  Why don’t I buy a fresh baguette or croissant for breakfast every morning from the boulangerie across the street?  Why aren’t the fruits, vegetables, and meats as fresh or as carefully selected and prepared as they are here?  Why does taking time to be with your children or to enjoy an afternoon coffee with your spouse or friends seem to be so effortless in Paris?  Certainly part of the reason is the way that we’re always connected to work in America and the rat race that we call getting ahead.  In my case, this trade-off often meant sacrificing family time in hopes that the rewards of work life would more than offset my immediate sacrifices.  Yet the French somehow seem to be able to have their cake and eat it too.  Like Americans, they still work; maybe they don’t work as hard, but certainly hard enough to make a good living.  But more importantly, they take the time to enjoy life every day.  Paris has plenty of sights for children to enjoy, but I think what my children, my wife, and I enjoyed most about Paris was experiencing what feels like the right balance of pace and quality in everyday life.  It wasn’t as slow as Spain, and it’s certainly not as hectic as America.  Perhaps living in the 2nd Arrondissement along Rue de Montorguiel is not a fair representation of Paris overall, but I have a feeling that Audrey would have said the same words if we had rented a flat in other parts of Paris….anyone know of any job openings for a real estate banker?

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