Tag Archives: paris

Paris Amour

30 Apr

The first time I met Ceej at a common friend’s party, he poured wine over my pizza, all the while yammering in a French accent, leaving me in splits. And no, neither of us was the least bit drunk. (In fact, I’ve never been drunk, but don’t let this declaration distract you.) Over the years, it became our funny routine–him spouting English in a French accent, me cracking up every single time. In Bombay, in Goa, in Stratford-upon-Avon, and London. And now, we were meeting in Paris, where the accent could come home to roost.

It was he who knocked on the door and received a bear hug from me. We were in Paris in the springtime–with a weekend to live it up!

Come walk/sail/ride with us through the city of amour:

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[Credits: OJ and her Olympus E-PL2 DSLR. And the stunning capital of France.]

But would I bore you by droning on about the touristy usuals: gawking at the Tour Eiffel, hopping on and off the Batobus, elbowing Chanel-crazed Chinese tourists at the Galleries Lafayette, whispering up at the Rose windows of the Notre Dame, taking in views of Paris from Sacre Coeur, downing one too many nutella crepes, cruising the Seine, nibbling at escargot and pain au chocolat, pinching oneself in disbelief at the Louvre, traipsing down the Champs Elysees?

Excitement of another kind lies in a political rally, a mere dozen days away from national elections, where a tourist from California was swept up in a frenzied crowd chanting “Nicola! Nicola!” and waving the colors we know as the Juliette Binoche movie trilogy. The mob hustled, the roar grew louder, the police were on high alert, children were passed from shoulder to shoulder, and little old ladies strained to wave to the President, who, having finished an impassioned speech, drove away in a massive convoy. Couple that with the Paris marathon and I’d call it a pretty eventful weekend. Even if we missed the Moulin Rouge thanks to a strep infection.

Ceej and I parted ways, he to Geneva, me to London, and we knew we’d meet in another country, another city, but he knew, and now I do too, that there is none like Paris in springtime.

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Come Meet Me in Gay Pah-ree

23 Apr

The trip to Paris began with a blunder. On arriving at Ebbsfleet to board the Eurostar to the city of luhhhve, the puzzled stationmaster shook his head and said ¨But this train left at 5.58 in the morning!¨ So much for a darn 24 hour clock.

A 100 pounds poorer (how I would love to substitute the word ´poorer´for ´lighter´. Don´t let me distract you now. Carry on.) but not to be vanquished, I was on the next train to St. Pancras, the station from which subsequent trains would leave. Fresh ticket issued and a sandwich consumed out of sheer boredom, (missed trains clearly aren´t excitement enough), I awaited the boarding announcement by counting men in pink shirts. Having been exposed to only Yanks in my youth, apart from our very own desi boys, European men are a subject of fascination for me. They´re…well, so….different. And they wear pink. Yes, I´m very descriptive that way.

Cut to me on the train, chugging along the Chunnel, admiring yet another pink-clad person, and reading this interesting collection of narratives. Gare Du Nord station arrived soon enough, and there I went, hopping off the train, into a taxi and zooming along the streets of Paris, who welcomed me with light and Louvre and a tilt of the head that sighed Óne more admirer´. Oh these stunning cities. How hard it must be to be them.

¨I´m here already,¨ he had said over the phone, and I went up to the hotel room. No, scratch that. I´ve seen seashells that are larger. As I sorted my things and readied to end my 36-hour, multiple time zone day, there was a knock on the door. There he was, smiling broadly, and I hugged him in excitement and relief.

(To be continued…)