Paris visited me in my dreamless slumber yesterday, with teeny tales to make me smile under the faint glow of moonlight, that crept in through my window. I woke up in a hotel near Notre Dame and the aura reminded me of Quasimodo’s unconditional love for Esmeralda. I wondered if their skeletons are still embracing each other in her tomb. I had to take my thoughts off their tragic story, so I stepped onto the balcony for a few minutes. While sipping hot chocolate from a cup that tasted like earth, I searched for my lavender coloured lace-trimmed blouse inside my messy suitcase. I took a quick shower, clicked a few pictures of my “room with a view” and sent them to my family.
After thirty minutes, I was on the road asking for directions to a true artisan bakery in Paris; the bakery’s name was too French that I cannot recollect it now. I ate an all-butter croissant for breakfast like a true Parisian and stared at an assortment of colourful macarons kept in a pretty box on the ancient table next to mine. The French woman who made those croissants which tasted like heaven asked me to take a train to the Eiffel Tower. As I stepped out of the bakery, I looked at the sky full of thousand different hues with a happy heart and waved at the next set of tourists on the road. The perfect weather nudged me and said, “Mademoiselle, the Eiffel Tower is just 5 kilometres away from Notre Dame, it’s an easy stroll along the beautiful Seine river.” That’s right, Paris is not so big, I can easily walk around the city; that’s what I told myself before the enchanting stroll of my dream began.
I saw beautiful French women in classic white shirts, oversized tops, high-waisted jeans and monochrome dresses, carelessly walking on the sunkissed road. Nearly all traditional French women’s attires were topped off by beret caps or some headwear. Handbags of Dior, Chanel and Prada greeted each other on the way and the fragrance of French perfume which smelled like poetry filled the air. Before you judge me, I did not give these women prolonged gazes and once I realized that I had “a morbid longing for the picturesque” and decided to enjoy the beauty of Seine, I saw that historical landmark instead. The wrought iron lattice tower, the Eiffel Tower, stood before my eyes! Well, I ran into a random souvenir shop, picked up some cute French stuff and asked the shopkeeper about the private apartment of Gustave Eiffel at the top of the tower.
Before I could hear that shopkeeper’s reply, before I could click hundreds of pictures near the Eiffel Tower, before I could drink wine at a dusty bookshop, before I could buy a bottle of Chloé: Absolu de Parfum, before I could visit L’Atelier des Lumières, which brought Van Gogh’s famous paintings to life and before I could go to the Arch of Triumph, the Louvre Museum and many more locations that I proudly mispronounce in my fake French accent, my Dad woke me up from my dream. And for the first time in twenty-three years, I felt the real sting of an unfinished dream.
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