One of my favourite pass times on any holiday is invariably people-gazing. I enjoy this interest most when sitting by a roadside café, having full access to my fellow diners as well as the multitude of people who pass the street that runs parallel to the diner. I can go hours, simply watching people who are unknowingly playing an interesting game of tic-tac-toe! Before I continue I’d like to add a disclaimer here – people-watching is fun, provided the place in question offers sunny or warm weather otherwise I don’t see the point of freezing, numbing me to the experience I love so much.
Coming to my most memorable place, it has to be Paris. Ah, Paris! How I miss you! The place is all they say it is and more. I didn’t have to see the sights and sounds to know I’d love it. There is something so mesmerizing about Paris. The old architecture, the captivating museums, the extraordinary Eiffel tower, the breath-taking Montmartre, the historic Notre Dame, the lovely Seine which is romance personified. I’ve never seen any other city that is quite literally brimming with romance. Every time I saw a couple exchange a kiss, which was very often, my heart would flutter, to be in the presence of inhibited young and old love.
The streets of Paris are filled with roadside eateries, quaint and adorable little cafés that offer the best desserts and bread. Goes without saying that I was on the search for the perfect café, which would allow me to absorb the city fully, the mannerism of the locals, and tourists on a similar quest. I found two such cafés, one directly opposite the Bastille Statue, which gave me a splendid view of three streets, and the other was 2-3 minutes away from the Notre Dame by a footbridge that was probably going over a distributary of the river Seine. I sat at the cafes, feeling ecstatic, lapping up the incredible sights and sounds.
I hear snippets of conversations, ‘tu es se belle’ said a man to a woman, slightly caressing her face, a mother asked her child, ‘avez-vous faim?’. The French language adds to the allure of the place and people, spoken in sounds that resemble whispering, the exchanges I heard left me thinking about the tenderness in which they were uttered.
The experience left me singing Les Champs-Elysees all week. Until next time, arrivederci!