What is it About Paris???

Paris is an obsession which one friend calls “the yearning that never heals”

Paris-philia. It is a physiological state that shortens the breath and makes the heart pound.

The fact is that Paris makes me grin with pleasure every time I visit it.

Each time I enter the city from Charles De Gaulle airport passing the ivory beauty of Sacré Coeur perched on Montmartre on the right I feel the same frisson of excitement. By the time the taxi has cruised round the Arc de Triomphe, down the clunking cobbled chaos of the Champs Elysees and curved round the Place de la Concorde  and is on the bridge heading towards the Assemblée Nationale I’m in my own happy little movie and I want to yell “Halloooo Paris” out the window.

I’m sawing my head right and left to capture both sides of the view up the Seine river towards the Louvre and the other way towards the Eiffel tower and the gilded bridge of Alexandre III. Oh the Ponts of Paris are just so mesmeric!

The glimpses up the Seine are over in a second but not before I’ve given myself a silent happy chirrup for being here and being able to see all of it again and again and again.

Then we’re on the Left Bank and gliding past the Haussmannian limestone apartments and the ubiquitous wrought iron balconies and the Parisians walking, cycling, driving to work and my taxi driver is joking with me about life in Paris compared to life in Australia with all those kangaroos…..

I love telling them that “Les kangourous sont une nuisance dans certaines régions de l’Australie, on est régulièrement obliger de les éliminer.”

That always raises their eyebrows. Naughty of me to spoil their own little fantasy about life in the empty vastness of Oz where the Australian and the Kangaroo roam wild and free in harmony. It’s fun to see the looks on their faces as they imagine so many damn kangaroos bounding around Australia that there is no room left for humans. The country must be alive with these magnificent creatures…… and they kill them??

Parisian taxi drivers are quick to tell me their realities of life in Paris – a far cry from the euphoria I’m quietly feeling inside. Life for many Parisians is not easy and I hear many a taxi driver confession as I sit ecstatically in the back of their car, yearning for a shower with my post-flight long-haul swollen feet, my aeroplane flattened hair, my body aged from having spent 24 plus hours in the foetal position in an economy seat and a face that could crack mirrors it is so flight-ravaged.

I don’t care. I’m in Paris and it’s just so nice to listen to anyone speaking better French than I.

Often I sit there fascinated because the driver has revealed a new grammatical construct: “Ahhh, that’s the way you say that…” I ponder absently as he reveals some new insight into la vie d’un chauffeur de taxi à Paris. I’ve learned many a useful turn of phrase from my charming chauffeurs; another bonus to being in not only this most magic of cities, but hearing the most poetic symphonic of languages too.

It’s got to be the light in Paris, or the sunsets, and those bridges!

No maybe it’s the food? Those insane Macaroons that taste like a fresh strawberry explosion in your mouth (some of the more fancy ones taste like Toilet Duck though and should be avoided)

It’s the history, the memories,
the architecture.
Which is ironic, considering France’s history is peppered with horror and bloodshed. Their beautiful Anthem shrieks of slitting throats, tearing of mothers’breasts, soaking fields with impure blood etc…

No, I think it is the cafes and bars,

the cutesy street scenes of baker’s vans,

men on bikes with baguettes,

the winding rues of Montmartre and the Left Bank that make your heart go ZING and have you fumbling for your camera.

It’s that almost cliched city of Romance thing that can make you feel lovely and pampered and looked after just sitting in a cafe or perving on a couple pashing with a beautiful backdrop…..

It’s jolly well being there that does it. Time and again.

Despite the fact that it is a dream,

a construct,

an illusion.

It never fails


5 responses to “What is it About Paris???

  1. So want to be there right now! Thank you for taking me there… even if my reality is, I am just sitting in downtown Hawthorn!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s