I guess I couldn’t express myself well Jacques, so I’m sorry about it. I never said or thought all those main attractions are the best things about Paris, or belittled the greatness of little things. I had my little happy moments when I walked around the streets, saw the architecture, bought sandwiches from cafés, or just inhaled the fresh air. You’ve been to Paris so many times or maybe you even live/have lived there, so you can’t expect me to know everything you know about Paris. I had only 15 days in total in there, with no knowledge of French or guides whatsoever, and I enjoyed every second, main attractions or not. I walked everywhere and hurt my feet to the level that I couldn’t walk properly for nearly a month after I returned home, but never regretted it. Maybe I walked down the streets you mentioned but don’t remember their names, yet I won’t forget the joy I felt every second I spent in Paris — and I didn’t spend my every second in front of a main attraction. This essay is a small reflection of my thoughts and feelings, the part I was willing to share with others for a class and I kept the rest for myself for many reasons. I can’t decide if you liked the essay or not, or if you’re dismissing my experiences because you have more experience or trying to convince me that the main attractions aren’t everything. Nonetheless, I believe everything you said. I was already planning to explore its sides I couldn’t explore before if I’d ever find a chance to visit Paris again. I also believe the more I find the chance to explore Paris, the more I’ll love it there. But this doesn’t change my feelings in this essay. Therefore, I’m sorry if this essay feels all wrong to you — I’m not a travel writer after all, and Paris was the first city I’ve been abroad — but it is what it is, and I’m happy to share it with other people.

Writer of the poetry book “The Anguish of an Oyster”. PhD candidate in Translation Studies at the University of Ottawa. www.ecemyucel.com

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