I was standing face to face and thigh to thigh with a greasy haired, very healthy man looking into my eyes when I began to wonder: at what point did I become so at peace with the intimacy and crowdedness of the Parisian métro at rush hour? I tried to recall a time when this whole scenario of pushing and shoving and engaging in near-kisses with strangers would have been awkward or uncomfortable. But,I could not. Paris has grown on me – or rather, the métro has.
Above are a few glimpses of the sheer madness and extreme intimacy of the rush hour métro. Now, this is something that you do not get to really become prepared for when choosing to live here. However, it adds up to make the experience of living in Paris what it is – imperfect, far from the tourist book stereotype and a tad bit frustrating. And that’s precisely the beauty of the city – it is not so much the upromose of mindlessly smiling constantly while leaping under the Eiffel tower: But, the awkwardness of fighting for space in the metro, learning that old French women can be justa s brutal as anyone else in terms of shoving and poking in the eye, the ever present but skilfully masked neurosis of this citys inhabitants and the adventure of bonding with other Parisians on the commute home at rush hour.