As the train pulled into Paris, we were already adjusting our minds for the shift from rural countryside to big city. Leaving behind the green hills, the senior citizens, the relaxed lifestyle, the good manners, looking forward to the hustle and bustle, Parisian chic, the grand structures, the Vibe. The deep sleep on the train helped in this adjustment, I guess. Disembarking, we were swiftly into big city mode – watch your bags and phones, try not to look like the sleepy tourist you are, figure out the subway network and find the apartment with the help of the guidebook that Shweta had passed on to us.
Then we met Dan, our apartment host, who acquainted us with the Parisian way of life – miniature apartment, maximum outdoors. Everything we need fits into a 12 sq.m. studio. Now I get why Parisians have only 10 outfits in their wardrobe, make love in the streets, and only have tiny dogs for company. It’s adorable! We’re lucky to have l’ascenseur in our building up to the 5th floor (we’re on the 6th) that can hold 2 people. The suitcases had to ride up by themselves.
After having a wonderful orientation by Dan (he has a folder with many many recommendations and advice), we settled in, opening only 1 suitcase at a time. The Nespresso machine made life easier. We set out to explore our area, the Marais district, but after a quick dinner of pizza, we found ourselves walking towards the Seine.
It’s all ‘exactly as seen in the movies’ Parisian characters going past. We got excited over movie posters (Souvik alone), fashionable men and women, lights and sounds – everything!
Everywhere you look there’s a noteworthy building or structure. We walked down Rue de Temple past the Hotel de Ville, across the bridge toward La Conciergerie, then turned to get a view of Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris. It was finally starting to get dark, a nice time to admire the lights along the Seine. As we walked back to our apartment, we saw that the neighbourhood gay bars had switched on, and the late night buzz had just got going.
Well, we’re middle-aged and need our sleep, and tomorrow will be another day to give those feet and eyes a good workout.