I was a little hesitant to post this, as many of you have already been to Paris several times, but I would like to share my experience if you don't mind. I apologize if my post is a bit long. I had a wonderful 8-9 day trip to Paris, and it was my first time there. I travelled alone. Because I had many days to spare, I set 4 days aside for "tourist traveling", hitting all the famous places and museums, and the rest of the days would be just kind of idling around the city and get a feel for what it would be like to live in the city. I didn't really do any fancy shopping, actually just walked around everywhere and went into little shops that were cheap and had a good time just practicing my poor French with the locals. They were generally quite friendly. My preconceptions about Paris and Parisians were proven untrue. I thought they were all fashionistas toting around designer bags and wearing designer heels. While I do admit that they are fashionably dressed, most locals weren't decked out in designer goods. I saw some in fancy neighborhoods, but that was not the norm. Especially not for young women my age (twenties). Somehow, this was comforting to me, because I felt that I would feel horribly underdressed in Paris. Also this made me think about my insistence upon designer goods. Also, they were not arrogant or unfriendly. I found quite the opposite to be true. All in all, I feel like this trip wasn't really about seeing the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre, but more about seeing how the people on the other side of the world live and making me think about myself. How I lead my life and what I value and things like that. I never liked walking so much or the sun too much in my life, but after the trip, I am a changed woman. Yesterday, I sat outside in the balcony in my condo and drank a cup of coffee for a long 30 minutes, which I never did/enjoyed before, ever. I apologize if this post is too long or doesn't make much sense. It is 5:34AM and I am still up because I still have the jet lag! Can't sleep!