Paris, Je t’aime
Sigh. A coworker of mine is planning a trip to The City of Amour and as I barrage her with frenzied emails telling her everywhere that she must go, I remember my own visit to the Mecca of Love in 2005.
A trip to Paris was – in my mind as in so many others’, I’m sure – a coming-of-age voyage to be made with the love of my life as we skip, smiling and long-haired, through the leaves in the Jardin de Luxembourg, eating crepes and conversing with the showgirls that jump out of the carousels parked at every street corner. In reality, when I finally made the trip, it was a solo journey involving myself, one wheeled bright-red suitcase, no hotel reservations and a few Euros in my pocket. But I had a dream, energy, the ability to chat up a fire-hydrant and to mimic a Parisian accent better than Juliette Binoche, courtesy of Claude Watson Drama Majors (thanks Corey Singer!).
I started chatting to some people on my plane and found out that they reserved a room at the BVJ hostel on rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, so I followed them there. They seemed to like me, so I didn’t feel like a stalker. I booked a room for 20 euros a night (including brekkie, sheets and showers) and met my new friends, Nia, Michelle and Nicole.
What shocks me is that I remember every detail of that trip, and have the city map of Paris burned into my brain. I remember every street, every gallery, every moment. It was 12 days of my life over 5 years ago and I grin from ear to ear when I think back. Michelle farting in the Eiffel elevator, Nicole urging us to see an Opera at the Garnier, Nia refusing to let me sleep on my last night in town and dragging me to a boat party on the Seine. Michelle making sandwiches in Versailles, Nicole throwing up at trying oysters in Montmartre, Nia spraying Hanae Mori perfume in the hostel. Victor Hugo square, Trocadero, Rodin, Picasso, Rene-Levesque Cemetery, the Catacombs, the Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysees, Moulin Rouge, Pigalle, Musee d’Orsay.