Paris in the Rain Is Resplendent


A vivid childhood memory takes me back to a six-year-old me in Yerevan. One who always danced when it rained, and thrived in the cold. My siblings did the same. Ever since then, the rain has brought us home, not physically but in thoughts and feelings. It always pushed us a step closer to finding the real feeling of what it’s like to be at home.

The first 24 hours of my second visit to Paris were intense, to say the least. This time around it was different. Different in every sense. I was playing the role of “world-traveler-older-sister-tour-guide” to my younger siblings. It was their first time traveling without our parents.

Last time I was here, it was summer, and I was alone. I got to do a lot of writing, soul-searching. The city awakened the creative romantic in me. People were kinder, friendlier and definitely more willing to show the way of life.

This time around, it was January. Things were surprisingly different. I did not hear the indistinct melodies of the accordion playing in the street corner.

This time around, I ate more, walked less, wrote less. It was as if the city I had loved so much had deceived me. I felt cheated. It was hard to prove the magic of the city when my siblings were not experiencing any of the things I previously had. It was different. This time around, the stereotype of ‘rude Parisians in the winter’ came to confirm itself. Everything was so different.

I was trying to pass on my travel bug to the youngsters; I wanted to show them how travel changes you forever. Instead, all they got in Paris were cold faces and homesickness.

Of course, that was until the magic of Paris came around to prove itself. One afternoon, as we strolled down the wide avenue of Champs-Élysées, we noticed that it was gloomier than usual in Paris. But it was OK. She always wore the gloom with pride and beauty. The contrast between the buildings, the streets and the skies were exactly why Paris was so romantic.

Suddenly, I felt a drop. Then, I felt another one. It started to pour. Once again, the six-year-old in me had been released. My heart danced, I felt like home.

The cobblestone streets gained a special glow in the rain, as did the authentic buildings. They all resembled sweet love songs carved in stone. We were less bothered with the winter rudeness of Parisians. It made us understand and appreciate it all.

In a split second, with a single raindrop, our world transformed to that of no more sadness and more appreciation. It all seemed OK now.

As we did every night during our Eurotrip, we sat down in our little apartment and talked about the highlights of that day. My siblings had been quiet during these meetings in Paris, as opposed to London, where every night they talked about the things that inspired them a lot. But this time around, it was different.

As I opened the window of the mini flower balcony in our Parisian apartment, I glanced at my brother, he smirked. My sister smiled too. They were happy. We talked about all the things that had inspired them that day.

Winter rudeness was not the only phrase we confirmed that day. We came to the conclusion that home is never one place, as we find pieces of home everywhere we go.

Home, is a feeling, one that is hardly expressed through words.

It’s very much like the feeling a kid gets in a candy store, a bookworm in a library, and a travel bug while traveling. It’s to be surrounded by people who make you smile, and laugh endlessly.

It’s doing things differently every day and being OK with it all. It is to have an open mind to find pieces of home in foreignness.

To find beauty in the unknown. It is to love every second of it.


Marian Sahakyan can be reached at [email protected].