It seems like everything in this city is polarized within 2 axioms of good and bad, of nice and naughty. For instance, people that roam the street are nothing short of horribly Rotten, while the ones I actually meet (Bonjour, bise bise, moi c'est Helena, enchantée) are arguably much nicer than...dare I say it...Montrealers? Gasp! 
They go out of their way to include you in their fast-paced and heavily-intonated discussions, they insist to pay for your meal, dranks as to welcome you to their city, they offer to you their number in case you need anything... What is going on?? 
While bad cop is busy refusing to give you directions, or, in the latest developments, working at the shoe shop and messing up your put-away or bitching about the fact that you interrupted their shop floor gossip sesh with a question about hair conditionner ("ughh, c'est un après-shampooing, c'est çaaaa??"), good cop is striking up a conversation with you at the Sephora lineup and giving you her card - "N'hésites surtout pas!"
Are Parisians actually nice? Do they smile? Do they dance in front of their mirror? Do they melt at the sound of laughing children?
Do they put up this hard cold front when in reality they're just all mushy and warm? 
Or is the City so damn cold that whenever they actually get to really interact with somebody, they release all the niceness that they have been suppressing?
Or are there 2 distinct species sharing a common ancestor, but whose genetic predisposition to tolerance and kindness diverged somewhere along stepping in dog shit, not being able to find a taxi (yeah more on that later), and cramming like sardines in the metro?

If you want to follow my séjour photo-diary-style, including but not limited to pictures of French puppy shit, follow me on instagram @helenaliang.

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