Ah, Paris. The City of Love. The Arc du Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower…
So why was I there without my boyfriend? Well, things being what they were, his friends were coming over from Belgium for the weekend, and I had bought the tickets six weeks before…
Shame. I could have used his help. This was a typical conversation:
FRENCH PERSON: Bonjour. Blahblahblah? Blahblehblohble?
FRENCH PERSON: Blahblehflghgiweghbwgebw. HTRHQWHE. D.
Which is not to say I didn’t enjoy myself. Given the absence of my adorable personal Francophone, the only evidence I saw of Paris being the City of Love were the machines selling condoms at every Metro stop. And the books talking about the best places in which to kiss your significant other so that so you annoy people. And the condoms on the ground.
In any case, I saw Notre Dame and the Louvre.
I cried in front of Degas at the Musee d’Orsay, because it was beautiful. Then I cried in front of Chopin’s tomb, because his music was beautiful. Then I cried in front of Oscar Wilde’s tomb because his wit was so biting.
I also terrified myself by climbing the stairs up the Eiffel Tower–despite my fear of heights–and by trying escargot. Which, believe me, is terrifying for a reason.
And I skipped down the courtyard in front of the Louvre, deliriously happy to be in Paris at night. Perhaps they had put something in my Merlot.
And I found my place. I am IN LOVE with Montmartre as I have never loved a place before.
Except, I don’t speak French.
Sing, oh Muse, of Ernest Hemingway and his expatriot journey of many days and nights…