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It was all a bit of a culture shock this time round, and I am reminded of the Paris Syndrome. I first heard it from a French colleague in the dneg London office told me about it.
Wikipedia defines the Paris Syndrome here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_syndrome
It is a psychological disorder experienced by people who are shocked by how Paris is so different from how they perceive it to be in their mind. They cannot come to terms with reality, and it translates into anxiety, stress, accelerated heartbeat, dizziness, sweating, hallucination and such. Many of the symptoms and signs that are associated with the psychological disorder disappear after the subjects leave the country and return to their own countries.
Wikipedia says that Paris is idealised in the Japan culture and romanticised in their advertising.
I don't know about you, but from where I grew up in Singapore, I do associate high-fashion and rich art history with Paris. I perceive Parisians to be cultured people because of their rich culture and history. I have also watched quite a few Japanese Anime series where I can see strong influence of French culture (or the Japanese version of the French culture) on the art and the settings of the characters in the animated series.
It was a shock to me, those cases where people were rude. I can only imagine how much more it would affect the people who are affected by the Paris Syndrome.
From Wikipedia I also found out that there are other places that have similar effect on visitors: Jerusalem, Stendhal and Canada