I hate it, I want to go back to Japan!
My sister cried and my mother was very irritated to hear it , the summer five years ago that should have been the best trip had turned into the worst week.Why did it have to be like this? I sighed and looked at my father who was fed up.
My sister was undoubtedly sick. But it wasn’t the flu or heart disease.
It was Paris syndrome.
She was probably the only one in the family who was not resistant to the “European adoration virus” that causes Paris syndrome, and I suspected that she had contracted the disease. We have to get back to Japan as soon as possible,” I said. I muttered in the cafeteria I had entered with my father after escaping from my sister and mother, who were rampaging like Godzilla in the hotel.
Maybe it was the Oniguiris and miso soup that saved her. In the end, France didn’t fit well with my sister, who is typical Japanese, we complained about them with 2 euro croissant and trudged back to the battlefield.
I don’t know how it came to this. It all goes back a few months before planning the trip.
I want to go to Paris!
The reason we were going to Paris in the first place was because my great uncle, who was a wealthy man, had passed away and my father had inherited an inheritance. It was also the year of my sister’s high school graduation, so we decided to take a family trip to Europe for a week.
At this point there was a dispute. We had a fight about where to go. My father and mother wanted to go to Spain because they had lived in Spain, and I wanted to go to Italy because I was studying Italian. Although my sister was the protagonist of this trip, my family was trying to decide the destination without my sister’s permission. She couldn’t help shouting, “I want to go to Paris!“
Apparently, she had already been to Tuscany and Madrid, but when she bragged about it to her high school friends, they would say, “Where’s that? She was very unhappy. So she wanted to go to Paris, a big city in Europe that she could brag about to everyone.
My parents and I couldn’t stop the heroine of the trip from making a request. We decided to go to Paris and then go to the Balearic Islands to see the sea. However, this turned out to be a tragedy for her.
By the way, she knew no such misfortune at that time, she was innocently happy saying “I want to buy clothes when I go to Paris!.
Huh? Isn’t France far away?
At 5 am, my family and I were checking in for our flight at Narita airport. We exchanged yen for euros, and my sister got 20 euros with interest.
We were really going to Paris!
My sister was happy, but my father was inhaling nicotine into his lungs. He couldn’t imagine not being able to smoke at all for the next 14 hours of the flight. It was goodbye to cigarettes for a while.
This time we flew with Air France. I was surprised that my dad bought a direct flight because I thought he would buy a long haul ticket, with a transfer in Qatar or Russia, since he usually buys a cheap ticket. I was lucky that my parents bought me a ticket to go to Europe, which normally takes 22 hours, in only 14 hours.
My sister was very excited from the plane. When she saw the flight attendants in their typical French uniforms, she said, “Wow, I feel like I’m already in France.” She was very excited.
The situation began to change after about four hours on the plane. I don’t know if you are European or Latin American and you are reading this, but Europe is far away for those of us who live at the ends of the earth. We call this 14-hour flight a “flying coffin” and it is said that only those who can endure this hell can make it to the heaven of this world, Europe. Traveling to Europe is a hobby that requires a lot of time and money.
He seemed to understand this number 14 as a number, but not as an experience. So she started to get tired of the stresses of flying: swollen feet, torturous boredom and not-so-good food (I usually bring my own McDonald’s). I looked at the panel she was looking at and she was looking at the flight map forever. No point in looking at that. Because 80% of the flight is over the big northern country “Russia”. It was not interesting at all and it goes on forever “Russia, Russia, Russia…”.
When we arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, my sister was completely exhausted.
Anyway, she arrived in Paris, France, the city of her dreams. Paris, the city of aristocratic culture and revolution. “Let’s go to the hotel for sightseeing,” my mother told my sister.
Shivering in the cab
A few minutes later, my sister was shaking like a guinea pig in a cab heading for the center of Paris. The cab was going 130 kilometers per hour. The driver, originally from Mali, stuck to the car in front of him and honks his horn. I look at the sign as I pass and it says “The Fast and the Furious”. No, I was already in the world of the movie.
My father was slightly frightened, but my mother was asleep in the back seat with ease. The driver is jovial.
He said, “Can I put on some African music?” and a song like tribal music started playing. It was wonderful. This is Paris.
What? This is Paris…?
My sister’s mouth drops open at the city of Paris after finishing the 45-minute “The Fast and the Furious: Euro mission” attraction.
“What, this is Paris…?
In fact, Europe is too far away for many Japanese to imagine. And the only thing they hardly know is the famous manga “The Rose of Versailles” which became very popular in Japan.
It is a love story between the protagonist and a nobleman who lives for the royal family as a nobleman in the midst of the French Revolution, and this is how the average Japanese person’s image of France is made. In other words, the image of France is still the same as that of the Ancien Régime.
From the point of view of my sister, who is a typical Japanese, coming to modern France is like taking a ride in a time machine. Apparently, it was not at all what she had imagined. “Why are there so few French people here?” she muttered. I explained, “That’s because in France there are immigrants from Africa and the Arab world.” I replied, “But people from Arab countries are Arabs, aren’t they? They are not French, are they? He asked me.
This is another typical reaction of the Japanese, who confuse the concept of “nationality” and “race”. I tried to explain to her the history of immigration, but she seemed unconvinced. It is true that the France she imagined was not in Paris. This is because it is an undeniable illusion.
So, it all goes back to the scene at the beginning. Her sister was crying and her mother was irritated.
It was too much stimulation.
I think the city of Paris was too much stimulation for my sister, who was not that interested in foreign countries. A moderate amount of stimulation leads to enjoyment, but when the limit is exceeded, it is pain.
My parents, who lived in Spain for eight years, and I, who had studied Europe, found the city of Paris exciting and interesting, but my sister found it too much stimulation. After returning from the trip, she never again said “I want to go to Europe,” and when she went abroad, she only went to Taiwan, Hong Kong and other Asian countries.
I don’t quite understand how it works, but it seems that this ability to adapt to different cultures is a gift. I think it’s about accepting or not accepting new stimuli with curiosity and positivity, but many people who suffer from Paris syndrome have no antibodies against strong stimuli.
I think we can learn from her that no matter how globalized the world is, people are not easily bought out of the environment in which they were born.