“Oh my God, I love Paris, Oh you are so lucky, you live in Paris I wish I would also live there”. You, I and everyone heard this sentence many times. To every one as a foreigner, Paris is the city of superlatives-most beautiful, most interesting, most famous building and most everything. I love to brag about Parisian too. But let me explain why it’s painful? The truth is living in the city of superlatives and love is a lot less glamorous than it seems and many Japanese have it the hard way.

Visiting Paris can turn out to be the most traumatizing experience of their lives. On reading most definitions of Paris Syndrome, I found it a kind of a mental disorder which takes hold of tourists who visits Paris are disappointed by what they see, it’s also one which apparently afflicts Japanese people in particular in 2006, the BBC reported that Japanese were struck down with that summer, and in some this resulted in “psychiatric break down”.

According to the BBC often the contraction of Paris Syndrome are a woman in their 30, who had impossibility high expectation for their first trip aboard out of the million or so Japanese tourist that visit Paris each year. Around a million Japanese travel to France every year. About 12 will fall prey to Paris Syndrome. It was Japanese Psychiatrist working in France, Professor Hlroakiota who first identified the syndrome some 20 years ago.

The media portrays the city as one filled with thin, gorgeous, unbelievably rich citizens. The city is a popular tourist destination due to Japan’s fascination with all things fresh, cities as Tokyo are filled with French fashion outlets such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton, seeing a film like Amelie or An American in Paris, attractions towards buildings like Eiffel tower, intrusting culture and art.

That psychological conclusion was caused by a severe contrast between expectation and reality when visiting the city of lights. Severe is actually a euphemism considering the intensity of the symptoms – anxiety, hallucination, feelings of persecutions, depersonalization and even vomiting. At least Paris has the merit to be the only city that can literally make you sick. This condition is commonly viewed as a severe form of culture shock. It is particularly noted among Japanese travellers but why them?

Let me clear it’s because they didn’t expect Paris to be different from the ideal they have. This extreme shock occurs due some reasons that are taken seriously by Japanese that is the language barrier and the reluctance of locals to engage with tourist attempts of communicating. They don’t expect it to be different from their societies. The contrast between the two cultures is striking. Travellers who had imagined a city of cultured fashioned models, perpetually sipping wine and discussing classical art under the Twinkle of the Eiffel Tower were sent crashing back to reality. Like any other major European city, Paris has plenty of unclean streets, criminals that view tourists as easy targets for handbag snatchers, and a number of rude local people.

Japan is famously clean even down to its most populated areas. If we think about Japan’s reputation as an exceedingly polite country and contrast it with the popular stereotype of the less polite and mannered than French waiter, in Japanese shops, the customer is king whereas here assistants hardly look at them……People using public transport all look stern, that increases ill-feeling. Sufferers of Paris syndrome have been known to get a persecution complex believing themselves to be the victim of prejudice or hostility from the Parisians. Now I think I make it clear that why to Japanese this extreme shock occurs.

Dear Japanese people Amelie lies, Paris smells more like piss and cigarettes than roses and freshly baked croissants. The Japanese Embassy in Paris continues to operate 24/7 emergency helpline for any of its national suffering from its symptoms and potentially in need of repatriation. Although it seems like a wasted chance for sheltered tourist to learn more about the world outside Japan.

I didn’t understand at first how could such a thing exist PARIS can be PAIN, but tourists still seem to enjoy visiting it. The psychiatrist that first diagnosed the syndrome said the only cure is to say “av revisor” (GOODBYE) to France and never return to. Well, it would be okay to say “PARIS SYNDROME IS FIRST CLASS PROBLEM FOR FIRST CLASS VACATIONS” So there U go everything you needed to know about Paris Syndrome! If you are still thirsty for having a trip to Paris then WELLCOME to the city that makes you sick.

Submitted by “Arzoo Tajik”