Tag Archives: Eiffel Tower

Paris Syndrome…Beyond Hypochondria.

If you have been following Beyond the Flow lately, you’ll know I’ve been retracing my steps through Paris back in the European Summer of 1992. I have photos, diaries and letters from the trip, which have been incredibly useful. However, I can now cross-reference these with Google and retrace my steps online on Google maps. Consequently, this return journey has been very intriguing, rather intense and the creative juices have been dripping all over the place.

Aside from the poetry reading I did at the famous Shakespeare & Company Bookshop, my time in Paris was overshadowed by matters of the heart. Unfortunately, we’re not talking about romance but what is known as “the Paris Dumper”(a favourite band of mind whose songs include: “A One Sided Love Affair”.)

Patisserie Paris

The sweet side of Paris.

I can testify that being dumped in Paris is so much worse than being dumped just about anywhere else. After all, Paris isn’t just the City of Lights. Above all, it’s the City of Love. Can’t you just see Cupid flying over the Eiffel Tower sporting his bow and arrow? Indeed, I was quite surprised to find out that the air in Paris wasn’t pink. That Paris wasn’t a city of rose-eyed visions. Of course, if I’d ever read the fine print before falling in love, I should’ve known that heartbreak is a known side-effect and to keep a better eye out for the early signs.  So, when you’ve been dumped in Paris, you find yourself falling  from Cloud 9 straight on top of your sword. Ouch! It hurts!

writing in Paris

Being dumped in Paris wasn’t the end of my disillusionment with Paris either. Of course, I fell in love with the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the sensational Luxembourg Gardens but Paris was very noisy, over-crowded, dirty and even back in 1992 there was a very seedy, dark undercurrent. That’s before I even get to the unparalleled rudeness of the French. I don’t think they expected me to understand all the swearing!

After yet another stroll through Google last night, this sense of total and utter disillusionment with Paris even has a name…Paris Syndrome. I don’t know whether you’ll find it in the DSM IV manual but it’s not just something Google made up. The BBC has also covered it: Paris Syndrome.

Paris syndrome (French: Syndrome de Paris, Japanese: パリ症候群, Pari shōkōgun) is a transient psychological disorder exhibited by some individuals when visiting or vacationing to Paris, as a result of extreme shock resulting from their finding out that Paris is not what they had expected it to be. It is characterized by a number of psychiatric symptoms such as acute delusional states, hallucinations, feelings of persecution (perceptions of being a victim of prejudice, aggression, or hostility from others), derealization, depersonalization, anxiety, and also psychosomatic manifestations such as dizziness, tachycardia, sweating, and others, such as vomiting- Wikipaedia.

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Relaxing in the Luxenbourg Gardens, Paris. These stunning gardens and green space was an urban oasis.

While Paris Syndrome is particularly linked to Japanese tourists, I distinctly remember being let down by my first impressions of Paris. As a very impressionable young Australian with a head full of dreams and expectations, I’m sure I experienced Paris Syndrome when I was there. That after studying French for six years at school, the reality was a disappointment. Couldn’t live up to the fantasy.

No doubt the effects are worse for those living some distance from Paris, where we can’t just pop over for a look-see.

Have you ever been to Paris or somewhere else where your high expectations were dashed by reality?Please share your experiences with me.

xx Rowena

 

 

The House of Chanel, Sydney

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” ~ Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel at David Jones.

Coco Chanel at David Jones.

You wouldn’t believe that I am still writing about our trip into Sydney last Monday and still have new things to share. In case, you’ve forgotten or haven’t caught up, Miss and I went into Sydney for her audition for the part of Marta in the Sydney production of the Sound of Music. She didn’t receive a callback but that didn’t stop us from enjoying a day out.

David Jones's Flower Festival

David Jones’s Flower Festival

Being Spring in Sydney, Department Store David Jones currently has it’s annual flower show. These stunning window and store displays include an incredible tribute to the House of Chanel, where no detail was spared.

Here’s a photo of the real House of Chanel on Rue Cambon taken in 1962.

Douglas Kirkland Mlle Chanel on Rue Cambon, in front of the House of Chanel 1962 [printed later] archival pigment print, edition of 24, signed paper size 20 ..

Douglas Kirkland Mlle Chanel on Rue Cambon, in front of the House of Chanel 1962 [printed later] archival pigment print, edition of 24, signed paper size 20 ..

The Eifel Tower by Night.

The Eiffel Tower by Night, along with street reflections.

When we first arrived, the stylist was still applying the last touches to the display, which was also quite interesting to watch. By the time we returned from the Sydney Tower Eye, the display was up and running and the lights were changing colour from purple through to blue, red, pink and even the moon rose and set. The Eiffel Tower was made of flowers and there were little moving silhouettes of Coco Chanel in the windows…along with her perfume.

Window Shopping

Coco Chanel lived at the Ritz in Paris’s Place Vendome but worked and entertained within walking distance at Rue Cambon. There are four floors: the Chanel store is at street level, haute couture dressing rooms are on the second floor, her apartment is on the third, and her workshop is on the fourth. The rooftop of the building is said to have some of the best views of Paris.

Coco Chanel.

Coco Chanel.

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

Coco Chanel

Shades of Rose.

Shades of Rose.

With such incredible attention to detail, even the scissors opened and shut.

With such incredible attention to detail, even the scissors opened and shut.

While this was a sensational display and we must enjoy beauty and not always fixate on hardship, at the same time, please bear in mind that Tim and Nugget are selling the Big Issue only metres away from this luxurious window display. They sleep across the road at Hyde Park and a $50.00 a night spot at a caravan park is luxury.

You can read more of their story here: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/09/11/sleeping-rough-in-sydney-meet-tim-his-dog-nugget/

Whatever else we do, we need to be thankful for what we have and appreciate the beauty and joy around us but we also need to think of those who are doing it tough.

Please don’t just walk past pretending that they’re not even there.Even if you have nothing to give, you could at least say a prayer!

xx Rowena