A Tale of Two Cities

by Kristiana Kuneva

Paris is a chronicle of clichés – about the spices of love, the certainties of tomorrow, and most likely the complexity of our emotions in the cycle of life as exciting and cruel as it is.

London, on the opposite, is a fairytale for adventurists seeking to exploit the uncertainty of today for the sake of building an empire of opportunities tomorrow.

And people adore comparing – if wine tastes better when enjoyed in the narrow streets with tiny cafes of the Parisian “Le Marais”; if the Seine offers cozier bends than the Thames to sit after a long day of cosmopolitan hustle; or, if the Eiffel Tower gives greater sophistication to European culture than Big Ben or London Eye.

I can frankly tell that wine tastes the same in terms of venue; that blends have been created to accommodate emotions rather than physical comfort; and, that culture is linked to perceptions instead of monuments. It is the definition of life treasures which determines where one will find their explanation for everything.

So I struggled to find mine. London was one of those experiences which left you craving for a bit of all pleasure that youth could offer. In no time one becomes restless, passionate, driven - to grab all the gifts, to make all the wrong choices, and yet to continue pushing fearlessly towards success and vanity. Life was too messy and as much tempting, seductive.

And then it all paused. I had to change my direction or otherwise pursue the same but in a different manner. I chose the second and soon I moved to Paris. God knows what provoked this decision but I will always thank him.

Truth is that one can take advantage of youth everywhere. What makes it different in Paris is the benefit of certainty that tomorrow life will still be as overwhelming and beautiful as today; the confidence that each experience counts for a lifetime. Sip your morning coffee at “Le Soleil d’Or”; have a healthy lunch under the burning sun along Canal Saint Martin; ride a boat at Parc de la Villette; taste a quality wine on the top of Paris in the forever-young Montmartre of Picasso and Monet; and then walk all the way down to Moulin Rouge and the heart of the always glowing city of lights. And meanwhile, do not forget to manage your job so you can afford all these treasures day after day!

So, traveler, if you ever wonder whether choosing London over Paris, going after adventure or romance, living life on the edge or life in the movies - do both in a sequence! Try the sassiness of chasing the unexplorable and spicing the conventional! Combine the side effects of recklessness and sobriety while following your own agenda of conceptualizing both! Personally, I would say – first you need to become a Londoner so you can discover your inner Parisian. Put in different words: go get lost in youthfulness in the less practical but always providing London; then keep this spark and make the best use of it to find your explanation of all things in Paris!