Black Notebook – Paris, a love hate affair

Drawings by Ana Varela

I love Paris and hate Paris, all at once!

As soon as I arrived in the city of love, me and Zoe, we almost were robbed. It didn’t happen because a lady screamed to warn us. See how it all started? It keeps going on and on.

See how it all started? It keeps going on and on.


Paris is wonderful! In every corner, you find big, beautiful things to see and visit. Montmartre and Notre Dame are my favorites. I love them, and I can come back anytime, they are just full of magic. Notre Dame is one of the places where I found so much peace after a busy Sacre Coeur. I found the street musicians amazing and the jazz bars are awesome (I miss this). Paris is an endless, romantic city.

I also found the street musicians amazing (I love them everywhere!) and the jazz bars are awesome (I miss this). The bridges, the statues, the streets, the travelers… Paris is an endless, romantic city.

Paris is also probably among the three biggest touristic city destinations, and as soon as Zoe left and I stayed by myself, I felt more lonely than ever. It scared me how in a city full of people I could so alone and lost. By then, I even thought, maybe I wasn’t made for traveling. Yes, it’s true. Paris was so hard on me, I even thought I couldn’t be a traveler. (This feeling was gone as soon as I landed in Switzerland, where I went back to the usual me, talking to people, meeting strangers on the streets, etc.). While I was looking for nice places to visit, I had to “run away” from a really strange man, and I witnessed a big fight in a restaurant.

I also saw one of the saddest situations in my entire life. While I was having a good night, going out for dinner and dance, I found a family of five, sleeping on the streets. Those small kids will be forever in my mind.

susana moulin rouge

I didn’t give up on Paris though, I couldn’t, so I went back. This second time I took my mom and my aunt. I had the funniest time with these crazy ladies. I saw everything again, and I got sure about my favorites in Paris. I even took them to Père-Lachaise (which I admit I like a lot, even if it might sound weird – it’s a cemetery, where famous people like Jim Morisson rest). It was also a good feeling to be with them, they are not so used to travel aboard and were behaving like two little kids. Also, it was Christmas time, and Paris was full of wonderful lights.

This time was not Paris fault, but I was going through the hardest time as an au pair, and when my mom left I was feeling so sad, that the city will be always linked to it. Nowadays it’s a romantic memory.

susana torre eiffel

So yes, Paris can maybe be “light” for everyone else, but for me is a mix of feelings hard to describe. It’s love and it’s challenge, it’s happiness and sadness. I love Paris, and I hate Paris.

One last word to thank from the bottom of my heart the beautiful draws to Ana Varela. Check out some of her work around Instagram and Facebook.



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