Picture the scene: you're strolling down the Champs-Elysees when you spot a familiar face. Your heart skips a beat; you tremble violently; and as the pavement rushes up to greet you, a single thought fills your mind: yes, that's him!
That's the waiter who laughed at me for mispronouncing croque-monsieur yesterday lunchtime.
This scenario, or something similar to it, leads to the repatriation of 12 Japanese visitors to Paris every year, according to reports on the BBC.
Like many cities, Paris has been romanticised in popular culture, and coming face to face with its brusque reality can apparently come as a severe culture shock to the famously polite Japanese. In a minority of cases, it leads to a breakdown dubbed 'Paris syndrome'.
Whether the breakdown is expressed through dance, like Gene Kelly's at the end of An American in Paris, is unclear, but it goes to show how distressing culture shock can be, and how exposure to false representations of a place and its people can exacerbate it.
I'm sure readers have some stories to share on the subject - let us know in the comments.
Nathan Midgley, Travelweekly.co.uk