If you’ve ever lived in Paris or had notions of living in or travelling to Paris, a twenty year-old podcast episode from This American Life is essential listening. For the program’s 25th anniversary, producers dug up the episode for rediscovery, and as the author of book called Don’t be a Tourist in Paris, the podcast strikes a particular chord, particularly the segment featuring David Sedaris and his almost-debilitating fear of looking like or being perceived as a tourist. You see, when I chose the title of my book, I wasn’t trying to be pretentious – I was for all intensive purposes, sharing my own self-help guide.
Many Americans have dreamy and romantic ideas about Paris, notions which probably trace back to the 1920s vision of Paris created by the expatriate Americans there. But what’s it actually like in Paris if you’re an American, without rose-colored glasses?
If you identify with the other characters in the podcast, at the risk of this being a shameless book plug, I strongly wager that Don’t be a Tourist in Paris is for you.
Hardback and digital versions available here from the MessyNessyChic boutique.