Paris Syndrom?

Oct 24th, 2006, 08:31 AM
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Paris Syndrom?

Apparently, some people are so depressed by the gap between the reality of Paris and their expectations that they require therapy.

According to Reuters, "Around a dozen Japanese tourists a year need psychological treatment after visiting Paris as the reality of unfriendly locals and scruffy streets clashes with their expectations, a newspaper reported on Sunday."

Particularly hilarious comment in the London Times, which prescibes Rome as they best therapy.,00.html
Oct 24th, 2006, 08:48 AM
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Yeah, I know, I dropped an "e" here, an "r" there . . .
Oct 24th, 2006, 08:52 AM
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Pretty funny. Thanks for the post.
wliwl is offline  
Oct 24th, 2006, 09:01 AM
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Wait a minute. The Japanese send psychotic tourists to Paris and then blame the French if they (the tourists) have breakdowns?
sobster is offline  
Oct 24th, 2006, 09:07 AM
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Happens in Jerusalem as well
alanRow is offline  
Oct 24th, 2006, 09:17 AM
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Kind of an odd article...thinking you're the Sun King is not the same as being disappointed in a vacation destination.
missypie is offline  
Oct 24th, 2006, 09:23 AM
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When I read this article earlier today, I knew someone on this board would post it. I was betting it would be Pal Q since he usually posts weird news. But today, thanks to Pausanias are in order.

I suppose I shouldn't laugh at a psychological disorder, but this is a hoot!!

I always get the "Austin Sydrome" when I return home from vacation and I must re-enter reality. Should I see a shrink for that??

P_M is offline  
Oct 24th, 2006, 09:28 AM
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LOL, I think there are several people here in Portland Or who think they are the Sun King or hide from microwaves ...
<< For us, Paris is a dream city. All the French are beautiful and elegant ... And then, when they arrive, the Japanese find the French character is the complete opposite of their own."
Now that IS sad. It is the result of these many years of great ad campaigns and actually does happen to everyone to some degree.
Paris or NYC or anywhere else can hardly live up to the hype that is created from those ad men who think up reasons why you should spend your time and money in their city.
Scarlett is offline  
Oct 24th, 2006, 09:29 AM
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P_M, if you are going to the Ice Festival in China, you might want to save the shrink for after that LOL
Scarlett is offline  
Oct 24th, 2006, 09:46 AM
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I guess the only vacation destination that could possibly live up to the pictures, articles and ads might be an all inclusive beach resort with great management and staff. That is a tightly controlled environment, dedicated to giving a certain experience to guests. But once one travels to an actual city, where actual people live and work, that's reality, good or bad.
missypie is offline  
Oct 24th, 2006, 10:07 AM
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I thought the people in Paris were pretty friendly.

But as far as "expectations" go, do the Japanese not know of the "rude French waiter" stereotype? Or is that myth only in America? I just can't imagine what they were expecting that they could end up so disappointed.

And what about the Japanese tourists who visit my own city - I don't read articles about how they need therapy afterwards . . . I can only conclude that they were sufficiently warned ahead of time about our surly attitude, rude bahavior, dirty streets, and virulent crime, so as not to be disappointed!
Jolie is offline  
Oct 24th, 2006, 10:14 AM
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It's a pretty funny article... I just got back from 10 days in France yesterday (last 3 in Paris).

After hearing the 'rude French' stereotypes, I found just the opposite. Everywhere we went, we tried using the few French phrases we knew, asked if people spoke English (in French) and made a lot of hand gestures. We found the French to be quite friendly and never had any issues.

However, the city is always loaded with tourists and dealing with lines, prices, etc. could drive a tourist somewhat insane.
astein12 is offline  
Oct 24th, 2006, 01:39 PM
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... could drive a Parisian insane as well...
Travelnut is offline  
Oct 24th, 2006, 01:43 PM
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Too much imagination They surely expect a kind of "Loveboat" situation..and then they find a bustling city, full of tourists, full of businessman, crowded Metro..some of them, if it weren't for the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower would think they are in Tokio A city is always a city...
kenderina is offline  
Oct 25th, 2006, 03:17 AM
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I have seen a TV documentary about "Jerusalem syndrome". People start to think that they are Jesus or some other biblical person. And remain in Jerusalem, not going back home. There was even some type who was treated in a mental institution in Jerusalem.
elina is offline  
Oct 25th, 2006, 03:41 AM
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I suspect this hits a lot more people than a dozen Japanese a year in Paris.

The media is awash with nonsense about "dream holidays" or "vacation of a lifetime". Occasionally, people do indeed have holidays which feel like their life's been changed - though never, in my experience, in the way they expected the holiday to pan out.

But mostly holidays are - well life, only somewhere they talk funny, eat odd food and live in a way you've spent most of your life trying to avoid.

And Reality Syndrome probably hits far more people taking a couple of weeks on a beach a few hundred miles away than people who've crossed the world to see the city of their dreams.

Holidays, after all, aren't a natural state of affairs for humans. We've had millions of years to learn to deal with working all the time. We simply aren't programmed for spending day after day gawping at other people.
flanneruk is offline  
Oct 25th, 2006, 04:33 AM
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I had the opposite reaction. Paris was so much BETTER than I expected that I felt like a fool for working so hard at home. I retired early nine months later and have never been sorry.

We make more money but the French live better.
Ackislander is offline  
Oct 25th, 2006, 04:42 AM
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I'm with flanner on this one. The problem isn't with Paris (or wherever the holiday happens to be), it's with the life that the holiday's come to be seen as such a desperate escape from. And from what I hear about Japanese work culture, it's no surprise that it's they that suffer most noticeably from it.

Something similar might perhaps explain why there's such a strong strand of anxiety amongst US posters on boards like this...

<adjusts tin hat and gets back to another thread>
PatrickLondon is offline  
Oct 25th, 2006, 07:44 AM
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I was not disappointed in Paris but it far exceeded my expectations ( I was there in May 2005.) The article should further fuel the argument for Americans who believe everything they here from the media about France. And who were these Japanese tourists who were clearly emotionally unstable? If you need therapy after a disappointing vacation try living in Darfur!
ilovetulips is offline  
Oct 25th, 2006, 07:54 AM
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Thanks for the links, P.

I particularly liked,

"... the restaurant has an elaborately time-consuming and otiose website. If half as much energy and effort had been put into the ingredients and the food, I donít suppose it would have made much difference.<

ira is offline  

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