July 8, 2012

"La Ville de Lumière"


My life - an empty and desperate void without blogging - has been like a rollercoaster for the past month or so. If - for some bizarre reason - you've missed me and my rants on the internet, just know, I've missed YOU.
Buses and trains and planes and people and cameras and accents and 'bonjours' and 'dankes' and noise and sirens and traffic and coffee and tequila and high heels and Zara and weed and trees and bridges and canals and gondolas and taxis and ancient civilisations and Nicki Minaj and airports and sunshine and kebabs and Hello Kitty and flowers and gifts and thievery and tattoos and euros and tickets and tennis and badges.

Armed with my camera and white Converse sneakers I left Cape Town on a cold Sunday night over a month ago. After unsuccessfully trying to catch a restful night of sleep and a failed attempt at watching The Rum Diary I arrived in Paris. The city of love needed to prove itself - and quickly at that - as I frantically tried to scrape some money together for a taxi. Enter now quaint Chilean couple ages roughly 40 and 45 for female and male respectively; my first friends. These two wily South Americans coerced me into taking the train with them, and, because I clearly hadn't taken much notice when watching Taken, I oblige. They simply nudge me into the direction of the train platform, singing; (because South Americans don't talk, they sing) "It's an adventure! An adventure!" For the sake of this story said Chilean couple will be known from now as Freddy and Ginger (don't ask, just go with it). Freddy and Ginger tell me stories about their South American sons and South American cats in their South American home - my love for South America fueled my intrigue. It came the time to finally say goodbye to Freddy and Ginger - FIVE STOPS BEFORE I HAD TO GET OFF. By this time I was perspiring frantically and holding my luggage close to me like a small child. Of course the stop I need to get off at - Gentilly - the train goes whizzing by at a fantastic speed, and thus, if I stayed on the train I probably would have ended up in China (I obviously never took Geography in high school). Suddenly, my doe-eyed deer face catches the eye of a passenger on board. The lady, a caramel-skinned, thin creature rushes to my side and asks what's wrong. She explains to me that basically I am stupid but it's alright because tourists are generally quite stupid (she is right) and that she will help me at the next stop. I refrained from feeling offended, obviously she would call me stupid; she is French. Helping me lug my huge suitcase up a ridiculous flight of stairs onto the opposite platform; I bid farewell to my second friend of the day/ trip. 
I made it to my Parisian hotel in one piece, a few scares along the way. After meeting my tour group later that afternoon I explored Paris and what a city Paris is:

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