Oui Paris

5 May

Today, I do not miss my flight! The flight from London to Paris, (despite costing me £278/ $523 AUD after rebooking), is the shortest flight I’ve ever taken… tbh, deliberating on what hotel to book and where to go first took longer than the flight… As if it was a difficult decision on where to go first… hello, Eiffel Tower… Obviously! Wtf is wrong with me?! Lately, a good portion of my time is spent overthinking, planning and over analysing, instead of doing. I’m breeding regret by hesitating. Wasting time…. and there goes another minute. F*ck.

Four hours after landing in Paris and 3 sets of conflicting directions later, I’m on a train, inbound to my hotel according to google maps… (yes I’m stalking myself).

Loaded like a pack horse, with the distain of a donkey, I emerge from the railway tunnels beneath the Paris streets. Rain rolls in, people run for cover, scattering under awnings and into restaurants. My pace remains slow, my course, unchanged, as I’m washed down a cobblestone road to my hotel. The Chateaubriand.

Large double doors donning black wrought iron detail open… the smell of oriental lily lingers in the lobby. The decore is old world Parisian with the lamps, wallpaper, upholstery and art paired perfectly. Elevator… not suitable for claustrophobics (I now know what being trapped in a coffin feels like).

The bed is a soft billowy cloud, the hot water…. colder than the Red Sea.

To more pressing matters, it’s time to transition from backpacker, to bella and take my rightful place in the pretty city.

The easiest/ cheapest way to see bulk attractions in a short period, is to take a hop on/ hop off bus. I purchased a 2 day + night tour ticket, where you have the option of listening or ignoring a prerecorded tour guide speak to the sites as you drive on by.

It’s 8:30pm, yet the sun says 4:30pm. Daylight savings on steroids.

When the sky blackens, the city sparkles. All of the lights… all of the lights.

My only criticism tonight on the bus tour, I near froze to death wearing a coat, 2 pairs of stockings, a top, a dress, gloves and a scarf.

Concluding the night tour, it’s time to head to the hotel via train. Here I am again, in the Paris underground, trying to find a train to get to my hotel (rly should’ve learnt the language). I ask a French guy if I’m in the right place. He introduces himself as

Xavier. We’re apparently heading in the same direction, so he offers to walk with me. We chat a little… he’s coming from seeing a French film, the title translating to something about “women are crazy”. I tell him, “it’s true, all women are crazy”. “Even you?” He asks. “Yes”, I reply. He continues to pry, “In what way?…. are you crazy enough to stay with me tonight?… I mean to come and have a drink”. To which I reply with a, “No, I’m not that crazy”. He says, “you’re very beautiful”… It was the second time I’d heard that today. Once from the bus driver, then Xavier. Do these lines work? Are all Euros trying to seduce everyone they meet or are they just being polite? A kiss on both cheeks and I bid Xavier aurevoir.

Cut to, 2 hours of unsuccessful navigation in the labyrinth that is Paris’s rail system and my correct train line has closed. Railway staff advise me, “it’s 2am”, ushering me out of the maze, onto an empty street. A taxi pulls up a minute later. Thank f*ck. The driver has a stand alone stereo (like the one you prob had at home 15 years ago) on the front passenger seat (bc who wants a built in sound system). He fumbles around with a CD and plays the song, “when a man loves a woman”. Pulling up beside a car at the stop lights, he winds down the window, whips out a microphone and begins to sing to the driver in the vehicle next to us (yep, the stereo is a karaoke machine).

Still no hot water. Personal hygiene brought to you by wet wipes.

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