Monday, October 02, 2017

Two days in Paris.

Ordinarily, I like to steer well clear of travelling in big cities. The beeping of car horns and obnoxious blaring of stereos (what do you have to prove?); stressed, tense faces on the sidewalk; shiny shopping centres set against monotonous clumps of office buildings; the smell of rubbish, cigarette smoke and goodness-knows-what-else—if you already live in a city, it makes you wonder why you left the hustle and bustle of your own life simply to contemplate your existence in a similarly drab atmosphere somewhere else.

However—there are some cities in the world I know I definitely want to see before I fall asleep forever, and Paris is one of those. Paris was one of the first cities I had been excited to go to when I was younger, and French is the language I was drawn to learn in high school (for reasons I couldn't and still cannot explain).

So, when I received my original flight itinerary from LUX* Resorts and saw that I was scheduled for a 6 hour layover in Paris (departing Mauritius on the way back to Canada), I couldn't help but ask to be put on a different flight for two days later. I then planned to meet up with my friend Ashleigh, who I hadn't seen in over a year since she moved to Amsterdam from Brisbane. I knew that I wasn't ever going to be able to see all of Paris in two days, so I concentrated simply on doing less with intention. All I wanted was to roam our neighbourhood; sit in the Champs du Mars with a small picnic of croissants or a baguette, strawberries, cheese and a small bottle of wine; visit just one art gallery, and the rest we'd leave to unfold on its own. And unfold it did. We visited a market just down our street and marvelled at old photographs; came across a beautiful and kind stranger who let me take her photograph; spontaneously decided to see the sunrise over the Canal St. Martin; stumbled into a free live music concert in the middle of the street when walking home on our last night. I left Paris tired, but content, knowing there would be plenty left to explore whenever I return.

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