Lately, I have been enjoying the opportunity to go back more often to my beloved Paris.
But I noticed that with each trip, some stereotypical old french habits are creeping up on me again!
Who cares – as they say when In Paris…
1. Have a croissant or pain au chocolat for breakfast. In Paris of all places, a girl should know better than drop her calorie-watch. I mean have you ever looked at women in Paris?
Well, compared to any other city I have been to, they are definitely the slimmest. And in a very effortless way.
Good genes or Karl Lagerfeld inspired discipline who knows.
Still, I can’t resist the smell of fresh croissants coming out of the thousands of lovely boulangeries.
So everyday, I started my days with a
high calorie- yummy pastry…
…and promise myself to deduce it from my daily intake and balance with a more disciplined end of the day ie “skip dinner”.
2. Drink a cafe. I never drink Coffee. I never drank coffee.
That was until a couple of weeks ago.
Here is what happened.
I popped into a bistro to have a warm hot chocolate whilst reading my book (Game Of Thrones, I literally have no life since I started reading it but that’s another story).
I told the waiter I needed a table for one to have a hot drink (read non alcoholic, to manage his expectations).
But instead of saying “hot drink”, I said “coffee”, you know as a generic name.
10 minutes later, he brought me – you guessed it – un cafe serre.
I realised my mistake. I could have fixed it. But I thought: here I am, sitting in a super parisian bistro on the Grand Boulevards (heart of Paris), wouldn’t it be super cool to complete the cliche by sipping my little coffee.
So I drank it. (And texted Hubby and my sister Sara, the 2 people I feel compelled to include in EVERY aspect of my life, ”Guess what? I am drinking a COFFEE” followed by as many relevant emoticons I could find on my iPhone).
The only detail missing to complete the picture was lighting a cigarette but Paris or not this is and has always been a big personal no-no!
3. Stop blow drying your hair. Too high maintenance. Too trying too hard. Who wants straight groomed hair when you can have – or rather hope to have! – Sophie Marceau natural flowing hair.
Or a timelessly chic messy chignon?
It reminds me that I never used to even own a hair dryer until I moved to London!
4. (Re)fall in love with scarves. People often describe parisian style as chic, effortless, timeless.
I say cherchez la scarf.
The back bone of any decent parisian style is THE scarf.
Big chunky wooly scarves neglectfully wrapped to protect from the winter cold and add a bit of cool factor to any casual or super sophisticated outfit.
Shameful side-story: A colleague asked me once (like 13 years ago!) why I was wearing a big chunky scarf around my neck AND a tank top. I could have said “parisian style”. I said instead “because my neck is cold”. Pathetic, I know.
5. Walk everywhere. Contrary to London where it seems you could live your whole life without leaving your borough (I happily did spend 6 months of my mat leave in ONE area so I know what I am talking about!), in Paris every area has its purpose.
You live in the 15e arrondissement, you hang out in the 6e, you go shopping in the 9th, you go for Sunday brunch in the 4e.
Bref, you keep crossing the city in length and width*.
The beauty of Paris is you can actually do that on foot.
When we last went there with Hubby and The Little Man, we took the bet to “walk it through”. And what an amazing experience it was!
The Little Man stopped and marveled at something every 10 minutes, enabling us to rediscover the beauty of a city we have (almost) became blind to.
PS* Apologies for the too literal translation.