I returned to Paris, seeking the peace and calm I could no longer find in Hanoi. But every morning, going down the tube station in Saint Lazare, all I can see is a vast sea of densely moving black silhouettes, and I am reminded that Paris, too, is a metropolis. That no matter how serene and romantic it was in my memories, the city will always be famous (and infamous) for its chic Parisians stereotyped as extremely rushing and harsh. It is also difficult for an introvert to live in a place where everything and anything is happening. There’s always new shows, exhibitions, shops and events to seduce you with alluring promises. The fear of missing out will kill you in no time.
But as someone who lives in their head, I’ve always needed time to slow down. My pace is much slower than that of normal people. That’s why I’ve always been late, for classes, for meetings, for trains and flights, and even for a family life that seems invisible at the horizon. Once in a while, I will just retreat to my bubble and cocoon and stay there for as long as I can, to recharge my battery, to do my own things, to read and draw, and write and think and dream. There are very few people I ‘allow‘ in this very private space of mine, and if you are let in, it means something special, at least to me. That I can be comfortable in your presence, that I trust you are sensitive and worthy enough. Even though I might not talk or laugh with you during my time of recess, my heart does sing at the sight of you.