Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Apologies for not updating but I was playing host to my visiting Mother last week as well as taking a quick jaunt over to Paris.

This was my second visit to Paris - the first being about eight years when I was a student and backpacking across France and Italy. At the time, I didn't feel like I experienced Paris properly. That is, I was a poor university student, struggling to scrape enough cash together for entry into all the museums and living off baguettes, cheese and nutella for dinner. I never experienced the full sensual Parisian meal and managed to only partake in the morning ritual of coffee and pain au chocolat, before trekking off to my next continental (mis)adventure.

I remember on my second night in Paris, I went to a screening of The Man on the Moon, which - thankfully - was in English with French subtitles. I don't know if it was because I was alone or because I just didn't look Parisian (or French), but I remember almost the whole theatre of sexy Parisians looking at me as I walked into the packed theatre and took the lone seat on the end of the front row.

Suffice to say, my first experience of Paris was a bit intimidating. All the museums, all the thin and equally gorgeous women, all the fashionable sophisticated people, all the world-renowned restaurants and pastry chefs. It can make even the most resilient person question their self-worth! But I loved it. And still do.

I'm delighted to write that my second trip to Paris was amazing - although a bit rushed and not long enough. Three days is just not enough time to fully appreciate Paris, especially when you are flying Ryan Air and need a full day travelling to and from Beauvais airport!

I love Paris and if I weren't so fat and could speak fluent French, I'd probably live there.

Of course, the best part of my second trip to Paris was seeing it all again with my Mom (and not sleeping in a hostel this time)! I was the designated guide and manoeuvred us from one end of the city to the other via the amazing metro system.

Paris, unlike Glasgow and Toronto (ESPECIALLY Toronto), has a brilliant public transportation system, which is subsidized in taxes and hence the cheap travel fare. I'm equally in love with VĂ©lib’ - the public bicycle rental programme in Paris.

My Mother mentioned that everything in Paris seemed so efficient and user-friendly. From the metro to early morning markets, just outside your front door; Paris is definitely a livable and cool city. If only I had kept up my high school French and didn't have such an insatiable sweet tooth!

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