The Proust Questionnaire is a questionnaire about one’s personality. The name originated from the responses give by French writer Marcel Proust, most famous for his seven volume novel, À la recherche du temps perdu, which translates as “In Search of Lost Time.” It may seem a little odd to write such an introductory blog post as my goodbye, but I could not think of anything more appropriate. My time abroad has amassed so many stunning photographs, life-changing adventures, profound revelations, and unexpected connections that I would never be able to aptly describe it in just 500 words. Instead, this list of questions that I have taken from various Internet sources will serve as a brief overview of my three months in Europe, and hopefully encourage likewise explorations. Happy travels!
What is your idea of a perfectly happy day in your city?
In Rome, my ideal day would be waking up around 11 am and hopping on the 492 bus to Campo de’Fiori. Every day until 2 pm there is a local market of olive oils, wines, fruits, vegetables, jams, flowers, candy, and meats! Yum! After walking around the market, I would sit down at one of the restaurants on the periphery and eat lunch alfresco, people-watching the afternoon away while sipping on rosé. Next, I would wander through the city streets, across the Tiber River, into Trastevere. This neighborhood is mostly untouched by tourists and is home to so many one-of-a-kind shops, bars, and restaurants. Dinner and a drink after with delightful companions is a must.
Which do you admire most about your city?
Rome is a living museum. Every church, every piazza, every stone is a thoughtful piece of art by Ancient Romans, Michelangelo, Rafael, Bernini, Caravaggio…etc.
Which is the trait you deplore most about your city?
The public transportation website is the most unhelpful piece of cyberspace. To use the metro and buses, you just have to be in the know. I kind of like that it is elitist in this way, but it is not enjoyable when you first arrive.
What is a positive trait your city is known for that is actually false?
One does not see much of that famous “Italian fashion” in Rome, which is home to Italy’s government. Italian fashion in concentrated in Milan.
What is the greatest extravagance while abroad?
Food and wine
Which city do you most identify with?
I could see myself living in Paris. I would have to improve my French first, but the city of lights, and its inhabitants, are my style—trendy, intellectual, and a bit cold and self-indulgent.
What is the travel habit you most deplore in yourself?
Waiting until the last possible minute to arrive at the airport.
What is the travel habit you most deplore in others?
Everyone trying to be the head cook in the kitchen.
In what travel situations do you lie?
If anyone asks, I like to say I am from New York City…or Hong Kong.
You tend to pack too many… pieces of jewelry. I always forget to wear them.
Your idea of travel misery: Rain and being pick-pocketed
Your idea of travel happiness: Feeling inspired