Some of you knew it, some others didn’t… I went back to France for 3 weeks.
It was 3 crazy weeks as I didn’t take any days off and was working from 6.30-7 am (French time) to stay in touch with the Asian team until almost the end of a normal French day! With family and friends to see, it feels like I never stopped running everywhere and now that I am back in Hong Kong, I can start relaxing a bit!
This time in Paris was the first time I really enjoyed being back in France since I am living abroad... One important fact which changes the whole story is coming during the spring/summer months. That makes a real difference! Christmas was the time I was choosing previously and except the great atmosphere around year end, it is not nice to be in Paris when it is that cold, people are either away or in their family and the city feels asleep… If you are coming in May however, you are almost sure to choose the right time… (com’on, how could it be only 8 degrees some days when I was there?). It is the beginning of the hot season; you can spend time eating and drinking outside, sharing some gossips with your girlfriends, watching people walking around…
This time, Paris definitely felt like a great city to live in! No, that doesn’t mean I am coming back and sorry for the news, but it is not even part of my future plans yet. I know one day it might come to my mind to move back to France but that’s not the case yet.
So quickly here are the things I really enjoyed while I was in Paris:
Food and Wine
I must say Hong Kong people are also food and wine addicts but not in the same way that we are... Whatever you are looking for in HK, you will be able to find it! (By the way I am still looking for sugar to bake “chouquettes”, does anyone know where to find some?) However the concepts of “Apero” or “spending hours around a table” are not shared by locals. I was missing it; I did it almost every day, thanks to my family and friends!!!
I know only few people can understand this feeling but when I walk in a shopping area in HK, nothing ever attracts my lust or rarely… When I was in Paris, it seems that each store was prepared for my venue and was offering exactly what I was looking for! No Xav, it is not another silly excuse for the tons of new clothes I brought back… The only explanation I found so far is the huge gap between the French touch and the Hong Kong one. Second reason, I do have a very different body type than Asians so something looking good on a thin/slim/Asian style body never ends up well on me
Another feeling only foreigners living in HK could understand. Living here is great but HK only offers small area for living and then you still have to share it with millions of other people… Some days it feels quite oppressing and you just need a good breath! Being able to seat on a terrace to enjoy a glass of wine after work is the best thing in the world! Taking the bus or the bicycle everyday through the best places in Paris helped a lot (Louvre museum, banks of the Seine…).
Family and friends
It is always great to see you guys. I know I am not a very expressive or touchy person and I will never be the one crying or hugging you like a crazy (normal?) person. It doesn't mean I don't have feelings and if I saw you while I was in Paris it is because you hold a special place in my heart. Just remember it and never ask me for a hug ok ? I also realize I am becoming more sensitive as I age or is that maybe because of the distance ?
Don’t get this wrong, Hong Kong has plenty other great things to offer, this is not a comparison between these two cities! It is only my feeling on what I appreciated the most during these 3 weeks back home.
I had a great time in France, thanks again to all of you! Sorry for the one I couldn’t see, my schedule was hectic… Next time in Paris is planned in a year as one of my best friends is tying the knot in May and Christmas 2013 is definitely in our calendar as Xavier still needs to be introduced to my family…
So enjoy your time guys, relax and take life as it comes! See you all very soon!