The Eiffel Tower is pretty fetching after cataract surgery

I’ve written before about the (sometimes brutal) epiphany I had after getting (rather unexpected) cataract surgery a few years ago.

You see, unless you’re 5 years old, or 90, the world simply doesn’t look like what you think it looks like. And that can be a bit existentially disconcerting.

For example, take grass. With lenses colored by age, grass is pretty hot stuff. It’s so bright green, it practically screams at you on a summer’s day. Not so much after you get cataract surgery. Grass, alas, is a post-cataract bummer.

But sunsets. Don’t even get me started on sunsets. Forget the main event, the sun itself. That’s for amateurs. Those of us with artificial lenses in our eyes, rather than those pale yellow things the rest of you put up with, see the world (other than grass) in technicolor. During sunsets — often, but not always — I see the entire sky light up with a beautiful bright burgundy, pink, neon-y glow. It’s pretty amazing. (And I tested it after I’d only had cataract surgery in one eye, and had my sister test it too – as she’s only had one done — both confirmed I wasn’t (or rather, was) seeing things.)

Of course, it does take a few months — it took me at least — to get over the concern that perhaps you were living a color-lie your entire life (or perhaps you’re living one now). When I post photos on the blog, or blow them up for my apartment, will other people not see what I’m seeing?  And is what I’m seeing even real? Or is it like those cameras over the past decade that had the saturation amped up because people liked their photos to look more real than the real thing? Did the doctor amp-up my eye so that things are so pretty they’re fake?

And neon. Ooh, neon. Paris is filled with neon. And it’s pretty cool post-cataract surgery. You’ll just have to trust me on this.

And finally, the Eiffel Tower. I went to dinner last night with a friend who’s a reporter in Paris. We went to some little bistro near the Eiffel Tower, and he suggested we take a walk after dinner.

I’ve seen the Eiffel Tower, a lot, over the years. I had the good fortune to study abroad in Paris, then worked here for a summer, and have come back many of the past several years for my medical tourism (and for work), the savings of which gladly (and sadly) ended up paying for my entire trip.

But nothing prepared me for last night’s post-cataract Eiffel Tower sparklefest. We happened on it around 10pm, right when the light show begins.  Basically, the whole thing glitters.  It was far more glittery, and just simply stunning, than I remembered. Yep, the cataracts struck again.

The video is only one second long, because I thought the camera wasn’t capturing the true majesty of the moment — but in retrospect, it’s not so bad. But you have to watch fast!

I took some photos too, once we got right in front of the Tower. How could you not?

©John Aravosis, 2014

©John Aravosis, 2014

©John Aravosis, 2014

©John Aravosis, 2014


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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