Paris, France: My First Ever European One Night Stand

July 01, 2017
Paris, France: My First Ever European One Night Stand



BARELY LEGAL TEEN AWAY FROM HOME FOR THE FIRST TIME + SUDDEN ACCESS TO HERETOFORE LIMITLESS FUNDS AND DISCOVERING THE EUROSTAR = ONE NIGHT IN PARIS...

It was always a given that I'd have itchy feet: whether I have the controversial 'wanderlust gene' DRD4-7R (which apparently inflicts 20% of the world's population) or if my travel addiction was cultivated from a tender age. Before I left my sheltered and privileged upbringing in Kuala Lumpur for a life of independence and adventure in London, I had boarded more airplanes than any form of public transport (in fact, I suspect I still do). My parents fanned my flames of fernweh with road trips around Europe, holidays in Hawaii, and missions to visit every Disneyland in the world (only Shanghai left to go!). Travels to far and exotic lands were woven into the fabric of my upbringing, but it was only after I attended the school of life that I became acquainted with a new and exciting kind of travel: European city breaks. Posh, Broke, & Bored is no stranger to the long weekend; whether they be 48 Hours in Edinburgh, 24 Hours in Brussels, or 24 Hours in Milan. In the spirit of this month's TRAVEL LINKUP I thought I'd share my travel story about I discovered and fell in love with day trips to European cities with my very first time, from 10 years ago...


*PARDON THE QUALITY OF THE PHOTOS, THESE WERE PRE-DSLR-DAYS AND TAKEN ON A SIMPLE POINT-AND-SHOOT. 


Paris, France: My First Ever European One Night Stand




Paris, France
Spring 2007

It was a simpler time. I had only recently tipped from the cusp of childhood over into the realm of adulthood (although any real 'adulting' on my part still remains to be seen, haha) and with it, I inherited a shiny new set of privileges including making my own questionable sartorial choices - yes, that polka dot coat may have been by the then-hot new award-winning British designer Giles Deacon, but what was I thinking pairing it with clashing Emilio Pucci rain boots? Needless to say, I was a garish sight in a city of preternaturally chic and disdainfully elegant Parisians. Not that it stopped me from stomping all over The City of Love, playing the role of the gauche ingénue...










































This couple swimming in the Louvre fountain made me crave and seek out the classic French dish duck l'orange.
                           
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Honestly, I had arrived in Paris with the best of style intentions - wearing black skinny jeans as the foil to my vibrant coat and accessorised with a vintage Chanel purse and high-heeled ankle boots (above, left at Galeries Lafayette). But the cobblestones of Paris and heat of Spring proved my heels impractical and jeans stiffling, so I switched into a dress and the only pair of flats I had - psychedelic designer wellies. A detour to the Louis Vuitton flagship store on Champs-Élysées was a given, what with my Chinese ancestry. Although these days I prefer to do my shopping at Colette and Merci, for a teenager circa 2007 an entirely-Louis Vuitton handbag collection was the epitome of sophistication - as my self-satisfied, merde-eating grin (above right, outside the Louis Vuitton flagship on Champs-Élysées) would attest.

At that point in time, my favourite movies was Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge! (which incidentally was how I discovered my then-favourite musician Rufus Wainwright, from his brief cover of Complainte de La Butte). A visit to the Moulin Rouge would come later, in the meanwhile I scaled the hills of Montmarte to see, up close, The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris or Sacré-Cœur. The view was breathtaking, which may have less to do with the vista of the city than the uphill climb itself...

Paris, France: My First Ever European One Night Stand

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Paris, France: My First Ever European One Night Stand
...but the climb up to reach Sacré-Cœur was really rather a piece of mille-feuille compared to the effort of reaching the towers of Notre-Dame! Like Sacré-Cœur, my gravitation toward this cathedral was inspired by the Disney movie but sadly I only managed to sing three lines of the beloved hunchback's anthem Out There before collapsing into a breathless heap.

 The true gem that awaits the intrepid who braves the steep stairs: a folding chair for you to plop your tired derriere on. 

...being a royal pain in the arse at Versailles (but that's a post for another day).


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Of course it was only polite to put in an appearance at some of Paris' finest musuems including Musée d'Orsay (above) and the Louvre, not that I needed an excuse to max out my Paris Museum Pass. The wealth of art, history, and culture to be found in Paris is practically l'embarras de richesse (although being spoilt by free museums and galleries in the UK I am a little more partial to my adopted country's own offerings).  

This month's TRAVEL LINKUP topic, "Your Travel Story" is rather fortuitous, really - even if I did precede the topic with this post from back in June - for lately I've fallen out of love with Paris. Perhaps it was one Fashion Week too many or maybe I had caught the derisive 'c'est whatever' nonchalance of La Parisienne, but for a while Paris was starting to feel...well, basic. But I realise how pretentious and silly it is to let others' own rose-tinted vision of Paris - as stereotyped as they may be - mar my own, especially when this post proves that my own very first solo trip to Paris was every cliche in the book. You know what, I'm tired of being jaded (oh the irony) - I want to be the polka dot-clad, psychedelic print-wellie-wearing kid from 10 years ago. Paris, je t'aime encore.

#PARISJETAIME

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