I find myself a virgin ‘note-writer’ who has little understanding about the concept…in fact a few months ago I may have classified anyone writing notes on Facebook or the internet in general an obsessed fanatic with too much time on their hands, well, here I am…I guess this is just a spontaneous waffle about my first week of traveling.
So I have begun my séjour in France, Paris more precisely. I am staying in the 15ème arrondissement at my host sister’s apartment, where I discovered last night if I stand on my tippy toes I can view the tip of the Eiffel Tower lit-up in blue for the first time in history (to celebrate France’s EU presidency). I’ve spent the past few days snacking on a freshly baked warm baguette from one of the many Paris boulangeries, walking the wonky cobblestone streets filled with couples about to kiss (some stereotypes will always remain :p), passing crowded cafes and Haussmanian buildings that have retained their aura of their classic past and understanding why foie gras (considered by some to be animal torture) will always remain a part of French culture.
While I am vaguely on the topic of food, Sunday night I tried a dessert at a stylish French restaurant tucked away in the 15ème arrondissement - une tarte aux pommes flambée au Calvados, literally an apple tart where the waiter lights the liquor and pours it onto the tart…either I didn’t wait long enough for the alcohol to evaporate, or they poured a lot of alcohol on the tart (even by French standards); I swear each bite was like drinking a shot of vodka…10 bites, 10 shots? Luckily we were going home afterwards.
Saturday night, we (along with Chablis – their dog named after a French wine) lingered the streets of Paris, passing the swanky Christmas windows of les grands magasins, visiting expensive boutiques and finally reaching the Place Vendôme. It is rectangular in shape with beveled corners (almost like an octagon) known for its designer jewellery stores, haute couture salons and deluxe hotels like the Ritz. Apart from my momentary thrill of picturing Carey Bradshaw walking in the same place, I listened to Aurore fervently explain its history. I think I had one of those crystallizing (no pun with jewellery intended lol) moments (for those who know Scrubs Season 7 Episode 1 :p) where my perspective about women wearing labels such as Chanel, Guerlain, Dior and other marques de luxes changed …perhaps it is not just decadent indulgence, but something which forms an integral part of French, if not European culture. And though I may never have the desire or funds to dress in the same fashion, I have new found appreciation for this city and its brazenly chic inhabitants.
So as I near the end of this somewhat random ‘note’, I know I have enjoyed my time in Paris and am ready to explore Part II of my journey in Germany. I know I’ve had many of those fleeting moments which I’m sure we’re all familiar with, where it is only in retrospect that you realized you experienced something divine and memorable. It’s been fun!