My very short Paris visit reminded me of a chapter in Bret Easton Ellis’ novel ‘Rules of Attraction’. In that chapter one of the characters describes his summer in Europe. Kind of felt like this (albeit without the sex and the drugs). So here’s my account of Paris on the fast lane (oh, as I don’t have Easton Ellis’ book on me – please don’t be too harsh on me when I don’t fully hit his style…):
Leave London by bus. Cross the Channel on a ferry past midnight. Arrive in Paris at 7 in the morning. Can’t get the machine to give me a metro ticket. No Euro coins. Eventually, find the service desk. Buy 4 tickets. Go to my hostel. Too early to check in. Guy at the reception offers the luggage room and the toilet. Wi-Fi is broken. Lock up the backpack. Leave my jacket. Walk from Montmartre to Île de Cité. Everybody is smoking. Get there at 10. Too cold to go without jacket. Decide to have a petit dejeuner. Price goes up with every place I pass. Find a coffee shop near Sorbonne that sells the compléte for 4 Euro. Wish I’d speak French. Walk over to Hôtel de Ville. Turns out it’s not a hotel but the city hall. How many mute Roma can there possibly be? Freaking cold. Walk to the Louvre. Freaking awesome. Louvre is patrolled by child soldiers with huge automatic weapons. Eat my sister’s chocolate. Walk to the Musèe D’Orsay. Thank waiting bus drivers for whistling at me. Pass the Obelisque. Loaded with more historic buildings any city could care for Paris seems full of herself. Along Rue St. Honoré to the Èlysée Palace. Everyone is super-skinny. Lots of French flags. Store across the street from Élysée main gate sells ugly-ass expensive clothes. They want my backpack at the Petit Palais. I leave. Still freezing. Quiche Lorraine at Midoré off Champs-Élysée. Arc the Triomphe. Eiffel Tower. It’s brown. Peace Memorial. Military School. Another giant old hôtel with a giant golden church. STOP.
I. Am. Tired.
Find the next metro. Go back to Montmartre. Try to find cheap dinner. See Sacre Coeur. Climb up the hill. Get my beauty shots. She’s beautiful. Paris view. Mind blowing. Find cheap dinner. Check in. Share my room with Henry, a Malaysian doctor from Australia. Tour of Europe. We chat. He spent 120 Euro on dinner the other day. Was delicious. Have taken 252 photos. Update blog. Drop to bed. Miss breakfast. Groom myself and pack for 1 and a half hours. Check out. Have breakfast. Picture myself living in Paris. They call baguettes with stuff on it sandwiches. Watch some students start a revolution. Desperately try to find chocolate milk. At noon everybody’s buying bread. Get the milk. Vous avez les eclairs? French is coming to me. Eat a macaron. Rain starts pouring like crazy. Go to the coach station. Off to Madrid.