Monday, 23 October 2017

Paris: Swinging Belleville rendez-vous

Forever ago I went to Paris. Ok not actually forever but like a few months.... July. Wow how far away is July?!

Originally, Sam and I were going to go for a yoga break in Portugal, when that was a bit pricey we rearranged to a weekend in Rome but by the time we went to book flights they were too expensive so we ended up in Paris. I've never been so I was actually thrilled with the turn of events that took us there.

I do believe we had the most cliché time in Paris.... and it was excellent!

We had croissant and espresso for breakfast in a quiet cafe watching the downpore and somehow the Parisian streets looked even more romantic for the rain. Manchester in the rain looks like an ashtray when someone's spilt their pint in it but Paris was effortlessly picturesque for the inclemency. The rain continued as we stood in a queue for the Louvre and it got really un-romantic really quickly. The Louvre reminded me of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam in the way its sheer size is intimidating. I was also annoyed that I was a few months too old for a free ticket (26 and under) however Sam was delighted. We spent the morning soaking up as much culture and history (and rain) as possible and I felt drastically under dressed next to Parisians. How do they manage to make jeans look so stylish?

Continuing the tourist theme we went on an open top boat tour of the city and now know far too much about the bridges of Paris. I was also thrilled to note our guide had a copy of The Great Gatsby in her pocket which when combined with her fringe, round glasses and red lipstick made her the epitome of how I imagined she would be.

In the evening, yes I am still talking about the same day, we booked tickets to go to to a La Nouvelle Eve Cabaret! I'd never been to a cabaret before and was excited to be all dressed up. Unfortunately our performance was also attended by about 100 Contiki people so I felt a little sorry for the performers who clearly worked very hard to perform to an audience who were only just conscious. Sam and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves among the feathers, rhinestones, and boobs - what more could you want?! There was also a hilarious clown, a spooky mime, and a kind of robot who worked with lasers that I couldn't for the life of me work out how he did it!

Body Goals
For the rest of our trip the rain cleared so we explored the city. We conveniently timed a packed cheese baguette with seeing the Eifel tower and disregarded the no drinking rule and opened a bottle of red to boot! We made sure to see the Arc de Triomphe, visit a boulangerie, drop in on Notre Dame, visit a museum (slightly unintentionally), and eat at a michelin star restaurant. All interspersed with copious amounts of coffee. Come to think of it, most of what we did was eat and drink in various iconic locations!

What struck me was how different everyday life seemed to be for the Parisians. We went to a fresh food market and marvelled at the range available and how many people seemed to be doing a genuine grocery shop. It made my weekly tesco order seem very impersonal since I don't even go to the supermarket but here were people talking to butchers, bakers, and probably candlestick makers. Likewise the bars were just as full as they are in England but everyone seemed to be deep in meaningful conversations with their peers not drinking hard or trying to pull...

Perhaps everything just sounds more sophisticated in French?