Thank you Paris (from an English Expat)
You are the city that stole this English country girl's heart.
You broadened my horizons beyond life in the UK.
You taught me to open my eyes to all that is wonderful, but also sometimes difficult, about trying to immerse yourself in a different culture.
You showed me how to learn and use another language, or at least to get by.
You demonstrated that a smile can get you a long way, and manners are always appreciated, especially in the young.
You gave me courage in a foreign environment.
You taught me bravery at times of horrific attacks on the city, and indeed the world.
You introduced me to a wonderful variety of different people, that I would never have had the good fortune to meet otherwise. It is as much the people here I love, as the place.
You showed me who my real friends from back “home” really are.
You were my first introduction to living so close to a big city - and what a beautiful one too.
You showed me majesty in architecture, art, and landscapes.
You tantilised my taste buds at every meal out - foodies, indeed, the French are.
You made me eat far far too much yummy bread and Patisserie products.
You helped me discover some amazing cheeses, and I am not even a cheese person.
You educated me as to wines and champagnes - “santé”.
You made me feel embarrassed because of all of your generosity, when my country voted to exit from the European Union, and therefore seemingly snub all that should be cherished about their relationship with your country.
You gave me strength to navigate an entirely alien health system, starting on day one here, early in my pregnancy.
You delivered me my second child and made us a family.
You treated me to so many wonderful days out: with my children, as a family, with friends, and on my own.
And best of all, you gave me memories that my family and I will carry our whole lives through.
p.s. May we meet again very soon.