Friday, March 30, 2012

something really positive for a friday

Had lunch with a French colleague who is out from Paris for the weekend.

(Evidently invited me to his house party on the Rue de Rivoli in April, but my fucking Schengen expires. Fuck. That. Shit.)

Anyway, he casually - in that laissez-faire sort of French nonchalance that comes with such a conversation - mentioned that the highest suicide rates actually happen in Paris. The Eiffel would be a good structure from which to fling yourself, sure, but the highest rate?

He's not completely wrong: "In an average year, four people commit suicide by jumping off the tower."

Perhaps it's all that expectation. Paris is meant to be the most romantic city in the world, and it talks a big game. If you travel to Paris for the first time, you're expecting a lot of romantic crap to happen to you.

It happened to me. On my gap yah, my high school boyfriend and I went to Paris for the Easter weekend. We were expecting heart-shaped metro carriages to transport us around the city, and for the water to taste like chocolate.

It wasn't. We had a shit time, mainly because it rained everyday, and because there was so much expectation for Paris to spoon feed us romance while we lay in bath tubs of roses.

We stayed in a room the size of a closet on bunk beds. The condom broke.

I say no more. We were 18, and we left disappointed and panicked.
Did I want to kill myself though? No.

So I found out if this is actually true. If you don't have the time for a full list, here are the highlights:

1)Lithuania wins. People kill themselves a lot here....

2) Sweden, Denmark and Norway are in the top 40 only. They only see the sun 3 months of the year, which alone will make people want to kill themselves. and yet...they're actually quite happy.

3) UK is only at 61. Turns out the Brits are actually rather joyful. They are happiest when they are miserable, like protesting against pasty tax, or cheerfully opening up a brolly in the rain.

4) South Africa. At 23. Higher than the dark Nordics, and double that of Britain. This I found the most surprising. It's sunny. People are friendly, and yet they off themselves more than Brits. I'm going to estimate a guess towards crime and poverty, but am open to other suggestions.

5) France. Expectations of romance? Is Paris indeed the culprit? They're one in front of South Africa.

On that bright and sunny note - no really the sun is shining, and one must never take this or granted - happy weekends.


Vannessa said...

We got robbed in Paris. Unzipped the toiletry bag from my husband's rucksack while we were rushing to get to the train. We usually covered the rucksacks with a built-in raincover which also kept them safe but were in a mad rush to get to the station. The toiletries taken were not an issue but our memory chip with our first day in Paris photos was in there and hubby's contact lenses...

Peas on Toast said...

Urrgh! Sounds about as romantic and as hassle-free as a weekend in Cameroon. Not ideal at all. (But you didn't kill yourself over it right?)