Recently I finished the travel memoir Almost French, by Sarah Turnbull.
What a cool story this lady has! But beyond the story, I thought that the picture she paints of French culture, and perhaps unconsciously of her own Australian culture, was fascinating to see. She helps put Parisians into context. And of course, understanding can help remove blind hatred.
I used to have blind hatred for Paris. Ok, well not hatred...but I DID NOT LIKE Paris. I thought it was stuffy, and dirty, and so revoltingly overrated. And Parisians, in my mind, were arrogant, obnoxious, and way too concerned with appearances (except when it came to their own streets). I think I mostly misunderstood Paris and its culture, though. I can now safely say that I 'get' it (to a greater extent than I used to) and I now dislike it justifiably!
I don't think I'll ever love Paris, but after seeing through a foreigner's eyes, I think I could tolerate it if forced.
Good thing moving to Paris is nowhere on my radar.
Australia, on the other hand....reading the author's comparisons between Paris and Sydney made me almost yearn to be down under. Who knows, maybe you'll be reading my own travel memoir, 'Almost a Sheila,' in a couple of years!
I didn't like it as much as the Peter Mayle books, but it was a very enjoyable read. It's one of the few books that has caused me to improve something about myself - namely, my attitude. And it was fun, to boot!