A few months ago, I had this sudden epiphany and without much thought given, none at all, I had gone to mom and said, “Let’s go to Europe, mom. I really need it.” I had always wanted to go to Paris again and at that moment, it seemed more of a necessity rather than a want. I needed it for myself. I needed an adventure. I needed a little getaway. I had felt somewhat complacent about my life and I needed a change of view. Most importantly, I needed a me-time before I could agree to partake in this lifetime commitment I was about to embark. At that moment, it felt as though I was buried with such profound commitment, chin-deep, and I just needed to hit the pause button before I sink myself lower.
And when mom said it was a green light from my father (Which is a rarity), so many emotions swirling in my stomach. It felt unrealistic. This shall be my first time financing my trip in its entirety (well, almost) to Europe and up until this very moment, there isn’t any slightest remorse. This trip has been like a dream for me. It was not until I was at the airport that it had finally occurred to me that I was going to Europe. It’s really happening. Unfortunately, it’s summer and even though I was born and bred in a tropical country, the heat isn’t something I am particularly keen on. After about thirteen hours of torment in the sky, (I had vowed to work harder so that I would be rich enough to not put myself and my mother in such torment ever again) we had found ourselves, moments later, standing before the Eiffel tower. It was thronged with people just as I remembered and the only difference was everyone was in their summer clothes instead of winter coats. This time I had my brother next to me, who would go to the world’s end (of course, involuntarily).
We had anticipated the summer heat but surprisingly, welcomed by a cool gentle breeze in the morning. And at night, it was chilly enough for us to curl up in a warm blanket. C’est parfait.
This time, being in Paris, this city I have loved so dearly, it isn’t about chasing after the hot spots. It is about lazing around in a café in Saint Germain whilst sipping a cup of chocolat au chaud and watching the locals go about with their day; it is about sitting at one of those chairs in Jardin du Luxembourg; it is about wandering without a map in hopes that you would stumble upon something magical. It is about taking walks around Montmartre, it is about taking the metro or going for long walks instead of taking the taxi. And this trip was everything that i had imagined it to be. It is about savouring every inch of that city as much as I possibly could. It is about having picnic by the Seine and relishing some desserts. I reckon, this is the best way to enjoy Paris. Paris is the kind of place where all you should do is nothing. And although, it was only for a short while, I felt at peace. I completely understand how Paris isn’t everyone’s favourite – the hearsay like how the streets are dirty and reeked of pee, or how it is completely unsafe you are most likely to be pickpocketed. It’s all true. Nevertheless, Paris has been magical to me despite its flaws. I have said before and I meant it when I said, even in the rain, Paris was undoubtedly beautiful and at night, if possible, it was even prettier.
I am so glad I took up a bit of French before I came. I am still millions of steps away from being ‘fluent’ but enough to have a very short conversation with the driver who had fetched us from the airport, the people who sold us croissants and baguettes, the friendly locals. I was so proud to be able to order everything in French and ask for directions.
WHERE I STAYED
I would definitely recommend staying here. It is all I picture my dream apartment to be – the parquet floors, the French windows and balconies, the plastered ceiling, the French doors. The host, Nazma, was the loveliest. It is situated in a high-end neighbourhood, and it is a short walk to the Arc de Triomphe, The Eiffel tower and there was a metro nearby for you to go everywhere else. Something about the place that constantly beckons me to come back, and I am already counting the days to my next trip to Paris.
Price : About ++275 EURO ( ++ MYR 1300 ) Per night