There was something about Paris, and it wasn’t the predictable perfume of romance that clung to the air like 1 million impending proposals. It wasn’t even the fact that I had an invisible Disney singalong as a shadow (mostly the fat rat from Ratatouille playing a tiny accordion…)
Nope, there was something different about it. It was a mash-up of longing and tranquility. Longing to explain to everyone I know that this city had the thing I was looking for; and Tranquility that allowed me to channel my thoughts into coherent, matter-of-fact desires. I knew what I wanted right there and then, and I knew what I wanted for the rest of my life. Too dramatic? Okay. maybe it was the fact that I was sat beneath the Eiffel Tower with my best friend in roaring sunshine, or maybe it was just a carb-induced euphoria caused by a diet of two-chocolate-filled-pastries-and-a-baguette-for-breakfast-please. Whatever it was, Paris had it.
We did all the touristy things you’re supposed to do; we climbed five thousand steps to the top of the Eiffel Tower, we ate crepes, we saw Monet’s Water Lilies series in the flesh, we got up close and personal with the [ridiculously tiny] Mona Lisa, we even got a bit mushy on the Pont de l’Archevêché bridge, bought the most expensive padlock ever made and found the perfect spot to immortalise our friendship.
Kneeling down to lock said padlock, photograph the evidence and call it a day, the Best Friend bent down rather awkwardly to get the perfect angle for her #Instamoment, thus pushing both keys over the edge and into the Seine. Did our romantic endevour come to an abrupt end or did we actually outsmart the world and make our metaphorical friendship padlock impossible to remove? I’m going with the latter.
We had our share of not-so-touristy activities too, such an essentially stealing the microphone from a perfectly entertaining chap on the steps of the Sacre Coeur and giving the crowd what they really wanted; a middle-class, public-school girl rendition of Wonderwall with an acoustic accompaniment. I did what every supportive best friend should do when one of the team is making potentially dangerous social decisions. I became her groupie.
We trekked into the depths of Montmartre too – it wasn’t even on the map guys. We found an antique flea market that was industrial-antique home-ware heaven. I am going back this summer with a van.
We basked in the luxury of French cuisine, we shopped, we visited exhibitions, we got drunk, we got lost, we even saw the end of the Tour de France (well Megan did. I sat on a bench and finished off a cheese baguette).