A few things I loved:
1. Morning light through the window
2. The food… oh, the food. Laduree, escargot, fries with everything, beignets, macarons, patisseries, steaks, cheese.
3. The big stuff. If there is one thing the French know how to do – it’s huge, awe-inspiring monuments. Scale is everything – yet the overall effect is somehow subtle rather than intimidating.
4. Warm spiced red wine in the Tuileries. Perfection. We were also given free cookies by some American dude – I know it’s like Abduction Avoidance 101 to not eat free candy from strangers but we’re OK so maybe that moral needs re-looking at.
5. Colette. Pretty people, pretty stuff.
6. Hanging out with Jess, who rules. She likes: bolied eggs, obscene hats and giving herself DIY haircuts without telling anyone. Here’s our homage to Sartorialist-style Tulieries shots.
7. NIGHTCRUISE. Down the Seine! My face froze and I think it was singlehandedly responsible for my post-Paris mega cold but I stand by it.
8. The Montparnasse Cemetery. Not creepy at all. A quiet, relatively tourist-free zone, peaceful, crisp and still. We spent about 793 hours looking for Man Ray and Brassai – and Serge Gainsbourg’s spot made me smile.
9. Just everything.
Here are things about Paris no one tells you:
1. The coffee is terrible. Just, really really bad. And I thought London sucked! Starbucks is actually your best option most of the time and I don’t say that lightly. The only good cup we had was at a vaguely Australian-themed café Kooka Boora thanks to an insider tip from the ever-so-helpful Ben. Otherwise it was fairly, by which I mean totally, undrinkable.
2. Hotdogs have two sausages!
3. People stare at you. I mean, really eyeball you – and shamelessly. ESPECIALLY on the metro, but pretty much everywhere. The thing is: you have no idea if it’s good or bad, because the French, their faces are made to keep secrets! Judgemental secrets! Or secret admiration! Who the fuck knows.
4. They like speaking English.
5. I’m pretty sure if a bar has a blue light that means it’s a gay bar. I might be wrong here, can anyone confirm or deny?
6. Opening hours are suggestions only. You can pretty safely ignore them. People seem to open and close their businesses as and when they want; which sounds haughty, and maybe it is, but I can dig it.