Late night in the City of Lights, I’m walking through the streets with a loaf of bread under my arm. Knowing my way exactly around the winding alleys, breezing past the Moulin Rouge, I think to myself, “all these bloody tourists.” A happy smile appears on my face as I step back into my cozy hostel.
I’m looking forward to a dinner of fantastically cheap and fresh bread. The hostel life does require some creativity and improvisation – slicing bread with a Swiss army pocket knife, doing laundry in the shower, hoarding samples from department stores – but this kind of problem solving brings us all together. A random collection of us young travellers spend our night playing games, sharing stories and food, learning the essential French phrases. We now know how to tell someone to piss off and to ask ‘so do you come here often?’ Let’s not forget the most useful of all: ‘oh yeah!’ (Chouette alors!)
Honestly, it feels luxurious to spend a proper few nights in one place, not having to keep packing up and unpacking every day. To get to really see Paris, not just pass by. Right now I’m also thrilled to have a functioning shower at my disposal! And tea making facilities! All I’m really wishing for is a change of pants… There are only so many days in a row you can comfortably wear the same pants.
To jump back to the book you can see at the beginning of the post, The Most Beautiful Walk in the World is a wonderful creation that I have fallen in love with. Reading a book about Paris in Paris may be cliché but I find it captures the essence of the city to me better than I ever could. And so I take another beautiful stroll and leave you with this quote.
[a walk] is a succession of instants, any one of which can illuminate a lifetime… The “beautiful” part of Paris? No tour guide or guidebook tells you that.