There's a fascinating piece by Chelsea Fagan's over at TheAtlantic.com about the Paris Syndrome, an apparently real disorder, somewhat similar to a panic attack, that has afflicted at least 20 tourists this year while visiting the City of Lights. Most Paris Syndrome sufferers have been Japanese tourists, and the cause of their symptoms, which include "acute delusions, hallucinations, dizziness, sweating, and feelings of persecution," is thought to be linked to extreme disappointment that Paris is not always the magical, romantic wonderland it's so often made out to be in the movies:
Every city has its stereotypes, and Paris's "problem" here does indeed seem somewhat laughable: the picture of it in the minds of much of the world is incredibly idealized, or as Fagan puts it, we "imagine the whole city just smells like Chanel No. 5 and has a government-mandated mime on every corner." Upon realizing this is not really the case, tourists with more delicate constitutions can apparently have a surprisingly difficult time coping.