Thursday, 31 May 2012

Paris...Rien ne pèse tant que un secret.

Does she deserve to have the reputation 
to be the most
city in the world?
With it's tree-lined boulevards,
cobblestone streets,
ultra smart
boutiques...and of course the
language, surely
must be in the air?
How does she really measure up?
Over 40 million
 visitors arrive
each year to savor the
many wonders of the 
French capital.
You awake early.
Excitement is the 
perfect alarm.
It was the best sleep you've had in awhile.
Dressed and ready to go.
Even the 
bang, clatter & crash
 from the garbage trucks
does little to unnerve you.
It's Paris!
Somehow, there's even
a skip in your walk.
You hear the familiar
here, there
It's morning. 
You scrutinize the 
as they go about.
What is it about them?
Are they well dressed?
Was that a whiff
Chanel No 5?
Or was it
Nina Ricci's
L'Air du Temps?
Contemplating as you walk in search for 
charming cafe...
and by some means,
you straighten yourself out.
Checking to be sure,
your entire 
does not scream
Quelle terrible...
You stammer.
You hesitate.
You order that first cup of
cafe creme,
that's served
 in an extra large cup.
Not a capuccino or a latte.
It's simply 
cafe creme.
Eggs for breakfast?
Don't even think of it!
It's all sweet stuff over here.
And somehow, you don't mind.
Go with the flow, you tell yourself.
The girl behind the counter
gives you a stare that only
a girl behind the "comptoir" in
It's the little lift of the eyebrow,
a gentle shrug of the shoulder
 the swift wipe of her hands on her
It all signals...indifference.
Zut alors...
With coffee in hand, 
you feel you've failed.
You did not make a positive
impression on 
She saw right through you.
Can you cope?
You fumbled with 
the tiny 
euro coins.
It's only your first day. 
How will you manage lunch?
The Metro?
Oo la la..
You glance out of the window
onto the roof tops.
Even those French
roofs look good.
And soon,
your confidence returns
with every little sip of
that milky brew.
Armed with regained...
 you head out onto the
Left or right.
"A gauche ou droit?"
It doesn't matter.
You know every corner, no matter what,
will take you to a 
charming street,
a quaint neighborhood
rows and rows of 
elegant boutiques.
Rue this & that.
madames & messieurs
in that French walk,
to where ever.
Again, you 
confidently as if 
you also had some
important & continetal
task at hand.
Surely a copy of
Le Monde
under your arm will validate your
existence in the 
city of lights?
Or a book by
Oh well!
You soldier on.
That's Paris for you.
Come rain or shine.
It glistens.
It gleams.
 It shimmers at night.
Like one huge window display,
beckoning you to enter.
It's time for lunch.
your spirits are lifted.
You dig deep into your pockets.
Get that change ready.
Be prepared,
to transact
that innocent baguette stuffed with 
and salad.
You're on a bench by 
Canal St-Martin.
Every bite into your
crusty lunch
reminds you how lucky 
you are to be here.
Yes, your legs are sore.
Your hands heavy.
Your head dizzy with joy.
Paris does that to you.
Making you walk further
& longer
than you set out to.
Do you mind?
It's not just the history.
This is after all a trendsetting,
perhaps not this word, 
That's more like it.
The entire planet's
each seasons styles
with bated breath.
And you?
Still chewing away.
considering the canal before you.
It's good to be sigh!
There does not appear to be
de rigueur
sense of dressing.
The capital's denizens
all have very individual style.
 If there was any planning,
it wasn't evident.
All effortless.
How easy.
Tres facile.
If you have to question,
then you totally don't get it.
It must have been the milk at birth.
Ah bon...
with a shrug of your shoulder.
Did you just do that?
"Tres Francais!"
You're now on
Pont Neuf,
looking towards the direction of the
Eiffel Tower.
The grand dame of all metal towers.
itself, like a giant conveyor belt moving
 swift & fast,
liquid in that
 dark aqua color.
Dirty green to some.
Murky Jade to
 others more forgiving.
You stop.
The view is indeed breathtaking.
Truly beautiful.
Tourist barges are cruising by below.
They're waving.
All happy.
You reply with a gentle gesture
of your hand that
seems to say...
me too!
An hour later,
you've summoned enough courage to brave
"le Metro".
You found yourself at 
& you have to get to
Jardin des Tuileries.
"Jardeen what?"
The map is all a blur of colors & lines.
You know you can do this.
Finally you're there.
Ready to stroll across this
beautifully pleasant piece of green.
The Lourve.
Do you care that it was built as a fortress?
Or that it has over 35,000 pieces
of history within it's concrete walls? 
Much later...
it's time to window shop in a city
with every imaginable shop known
to the
 human civilization.
Shopping is part of the culture here.
And they do it well.
You desire.
You dream.
You crave.
You wish.
You yearn.
Finally you...salivate.
You exit the shops
 with a hunger not known before...
It's another morning in
You're already out.
You've found that special cafe.
It will be your 
daily dawn ritual.
Right across from this
You sit, sipping your warm brew,
biting into the most buttery croissant ever,
staring at the 
Place des Vosges.
...if life could get any better.
Rue du Bac.
Boulevard St Germain.
Avenue Montaigne.
Even the names of the streets
have a sweet, amorous ring to it.
Some Evian perhaps?
This a city with a great many
Michelin restaurants.
Will there be enough ponder.
another word that captures the image of
It's no wonder even old concrete 
looks good.
Je ne sais quoi...
The sun's out.
The temperature is comfortable
enough to relax you 
I'm in 
you say out loud.
Beige is the 
new navy over here.
men are not adverse to wearing pink.
it's a city of infinite expressions.
"Non. Je ne regrette rien!"
That may be true if you cast caution into the wind.
You begin to think you could live here.
6 months turn to 12 in your mind.
Imagination is like an jet.
It soars, taking you higher to a place
where dolphins talk.
You've been charmed.
Quaint is everywhere.
The devil is in the details.
And in Paris,
there must have been many, many devils
putting in all those 
marvelous components
that makes this city
what it is.
Richness is plentiful.
A city of 
12 million inhabitants
& 20 arrondissements.
And a river that has seen so much through time.
Everything appears so familiar.
You can't believe this is the city with that strange
Designed with inconvenience in mind.
is in abundance too.
Another promenade to nowhere
in particular.
Only to expect the
 charming & unreal.
You wander off...casually.
A little later,
you spy a patisserie.
Windows stuffed full with
scrumptious sweet promises.
Decked out with every imaginable
 temptation in the form of 
You enter.
Trying to be tres discreet.
The door bell jingles.
You silently curse.
You smile.
They try to smile.
"Je peux vous aider?"
You're lost!
And they know it.
This ain't sweet at all...
And that's when you run to the
Centre Pompidou in numbers.
These days security is everywhere.
And you feel much better for it.
After the initial first few days,
you feel more sanguine in your actions.
Your stride is bolder.
You even try to experiment
with style and color.
It's now that you begin to notice the little 
details that makes
You see the change form one 
to another.
You start to browse instead
of rush.
You're crossing from one 
bank to the other.
Hiking all the way to
Sacre Coeur.
Strolling through 
Even read your book in
Jardin du Luxembourg.
Casually taking it all in.
You've covered most museums.
Musee D'orsay
 is next.
You've bought
macaroons from
La Duree.
How much sweeter can this holiday get?
you spent the entire day in
Peeking into tiny bookstores.
Rummaging through dusty
shops that sell nothing distinct,
yet everything.
La vie is certainly en Rose!
You begin to hear music.
Familiar tunes
you've heard before.
You start to
comprehend what little
of the French you knew.
A word here.
Another there.
Mais oui!
Bien sur!
Tout de suite!
It's all getting real.
Coming together.
"Les vrais paradis sont les
paradis qu'on a perdus."
True paradise is the one that you have lost.
"On ne peut Desirer ce qu'on ne connait pas."
You cannot desire what you do not know.
L'ignorance est toujours prete a s'admirer.
Ignorance is always ready to admire itself.
Your time is Paris
was well spent.
You saw what was needed to see.
You ate.
You took in all the wonders and
beauty,only a city with such magnificence,
can give.
But what about romance...amour?
Pourquoi pas...
It'll be on another trip... Paris.
Because now that you know,
it's only a flight away!
A bientot.

Au revoir!


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Nice of you to write!