Thursday, 11 August 2016

Back in the Paris of the East

I just woke up in the Paris of the East, after two and a half weeks away, and as always it's exciting to come back. (To Str. Blanari - would it be less exciting did I live in a block?) 

It was 36°  yesterday here, the taxi driver said. I miss British summers, too. 36°  Celsius, which means 97° Farenheit. Will England go back to Farenheit now?
My Ryanair plane delayed was delayed two hours. I'd fly Tarom or BA except I want to leave from Stansted.

The description Paris of the East, by the way, has been applied to a large number of locations, including: Baku, Bandung, Beirut, Budapest, Esfahan, Hanoi, Irkutsk, Kabul, Jaipur, Leipzig, Manila, Pondicherry, Ross Island, one of the Andaman Islands, Saigon, Shanghai, Smyrna (Izmir) and Warsaw. 

Antananarivo was called the Paris of the South, which it really really is not. Yaki in The Balkan Trilogy aptly calls Athens the Edinburgh of the South. Though I imagine Edinburgh is more interesting and much older. Lvov/Lviv is well called the Florence of the East.

Romanians don't like 'the Paris of the East' which suggests they are, well, Eastern. They infinitely prefer 'the little Paris' with its suggestion that they are Western. Some liked but many others were very angry with my brilliant aphorism: Romania is the Middle East dreaming that it is France.


  1. Edinburgh is older than Athens??? Ummm, you might want to edit that... (reference: Athens has been the center of Greek civilization for some 4,000 years. The capital of modern Greece, it’s still dominated by 5th-century-B.C.E. landmarks, including the Acropolis, a hilltop citadel topped with ancient buildings such as the colonnaded Parthenon temple.)

  2. Edinburgh has more old buildings,leaving the Acropolis out of it. That's all I meant. There were only 10,000 people living in Athens in 1800, a quarter of the number of Bucharest.

  3. LordBelchFarthing13 August 2016 at 19:52

    How about the Armpit of the South? Has a nice ring to it.

  4. in the olden days "the little Paris" was meant as an insult, meaning "as depraved as Paris but not as sophisticated" :)