There is nothing like sitting in a cafe in the City of Lights to offer balm to a troubled soul...
Well, unless you're absolutely skint, that is!
Paris, pronounced for the uninitiatied as 'Paree', (say the 'ee' sound very quickly, like a whisper to a lover), is not for the faint of heart.
Coming back to this Elysian paradise every couple of years or so, restaurants we have adored moved further and further out of our affordability sphere. It ain't cheap, so don't be, but if you are a lover of art, or an artist, or someone who loves anything or anyone, then come to Paris.
At least once.
But not in a group, holding hands and following someone carrying an umbrella. Or a fan, I kid you not.
And don't try to do it all in a week. Or even a month. Paris deserves ever more of your time. She will wait for you, after all... That's her over there, sipping an absinthe and powdering her nose. Later she's going to be gilding those eyelashes of hers and putting on Le Rouge Coco. She's going out for the night. She might not come home.
Paris never ceases to surprise me.
Here, I breathe in works of art (Dufy and Matisse) and architecture (all of it). I wander through shady back-streets looking for signs of La Belle Epoque, that were not hoovered away by Baron Haussmann.
I drink slightly too much in shabby-oh-not-so-chic cafes with transvestites and somewhat dodgy clientele. I can't afford to stay longer at the bar, where a glass of red sets me back about nine euros. I wish I could stay and hear more of their stories...
I revel in la vie quotidienne here - As quirky as it comes...
From watching le Patron of our tiny neighbourhood bar-resto shooing away a scarily un-dressed lady, d'un certain age, hovering in front of his gentilhommes regulars, and bending suggestively to pick up her Louis Vuitton bag-sized dog so that the world could see her ample 'balcon', to watching the happy bin-collection blokies on their afternoon rounds, waving to le Patron, to sitting at Le Danton with my beau for two leisurely hours, counting how few cars at the crossroads of the Boulevard St-Germain and the Boul' St.-Mich' pass through Paris without any dints, bashes, scrapes or other injuries!
All the chic women in Paris seem to walk across crossings on red with only a cigarette for protection.
I fear for their lives. Either the smoking will get them, or the traffic will.
I eschew other tourists. Or at least I try to. It's not so easy in Paris.
In August. Are there any Japanese left in Japan?!
The ones that aren't frequenting Starbucks, that is.
Why go to Starbucks when you are in the European capital of Cafe Culture?
Je ne comprends pas.
But I do understand the lure that Paris exerts on me. For she is always waiting to be discovered.
And today the sun is shining. I feel rested and I want to go explore La Cimitiere de Montmartre. Monsieur Degas is over there. We have a date for cafe au lait. I think I'm paying.
A toute a l'heure, mes bloggy chums!
Oh, and owing to a dodgy internet connection, I can't post any piccies - Sorry about that!