I had to go to Paris because I’m going somewhere else. Yes, I needed a Schengen Visa and (they say,) the easiest way to get a multiple-entry visa is via the French embassy. And so the Paris trip happened. Honestly, I never really thought it would be a good idea to be roaming around Paris, which is known to be “The City of Light” or some say “The City of Love”, ALONE. But I had no choice; so I went to Paris all by myself.
This trip was sort of a come-back trip, after my hiatus. For a while, I battled against my wanderlust because (1) I needed to save money for grandeur trips and (2) work has consumed most of my time, that I just wanted to be on comatose during weekends.
I was a little unprepared—I packed my things and read my itinerary a few hours before my flight. I barely slept days before this trip because of my crazy work-related to-do-list. But thankfully I still had the energy to traipse around Paris, for two days (just catching some sleep while on the train, whenever I could!).
As I am geographically-challenged, I got lost quite a number of times, which is normal for me though. I hopped on trains, buses, and tram, but most of the time, I walked–unmindful of the midday sun; and due to what seemed to be an endless walk, I needed to buy that I-love-Paris slippers when my feet couldn’t stand my flats anymore.
I searched for The Louvre, but I found Musee d’Orsay. So I hopped on random buses, presenting my old tickets, and prayed for free rides, until I got to the right museum. It was exhausting so I grabbed some croissant (because I am in France!) and water after realizing that I haven’t had any meal the entire day!
I stared, in awe and envy, at the works of art that filled the walls and the halls of the Louvre, thinking that I could never do a painting or a sculpture of such class and artistry. And in that moment, I realized that my dream of becoming an artist would never come true.
Then, I decided to head to the hostel after Louvre to check-in, get some nice shower and take a rest before seeing the Eiffel Tower—only to realize upon reaching Arty Paris, that yeah, I am sharing the room with three other strangers! I totally forgot that I booked for a shared room! So I just did a quick fix and off I went to see Eiffel.
The first time that I saw the lighted Eiffel, I felt like crying. Probably because of the thought that no one’s going to take a photo of me with the tower!
I went looking for the carousel that Hannah had on her photo diary–I wanted the same shot because I really think ’twas just superb! And so I found the carousel but I had my own version of the Eiffel and the Carousel shot.
I spent the rest of the night roaming around the tower. I stared, losing myself with the lovely lights; people-watched in amusement—until I realized that I am Cinderella, and I needed to catch the last train before midnight to get back to the hostel.
The next day, I said hello again to Eiffel again (because I wanted a morning shot) before heading to Montmartre. The weird me made the Eiffel Tower a wishing tower—and I asked a random stranger to take a photo of me while I whispered my secret little wish.
And I arrived at Montmartre. After paying a short visit at the Basilica, I traipsed along one of the streets in Montmartre, stopped, and “gambled”—and in such a short span of time, I gave away some Euros! It was heart-breaking!
I felt my knees weaken as I hurriedly got out of that street (before losing all my travel funds), and I hopped on the train and went to see Moulin Rouge. I was surprised at what I saw in Moulin Rouge, but my heart was just too heavy to be amused at things like that. I really can’t get the thought of losing in a street game off my head! But then on a positive note, I was convinced that such incident is better than being victimized by pickpockets in those crowded touristy streets; at least I had the chance to win (I just blew it!).
Well, Paris caught (the unprepared) me by surprise. But then, overall, Paris is still a good idea. And I’ll be coming back, with a vengeance!
About the Author: I am Simercita “Psymer” Cabasag, 29 years old. I was born and raised in the Philippines, but currently residing at Reading, United Kingdom. I am an auditor by profession but traveller by heart.
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