01 January 2009

Paris in Love

So Paris is the city of lovers, and I could have had a few romps in the sack myself had I chosen to do so. First there was the keychain vendeur beneath the Eiffel Tower:

"Buy one, buy one, only one euro!" (And really, who doesn't buy one of those cheap things?) But after I bought one, the conversation went downhill rapidly.

"Look! Buy this watch! Only 45 Euro!"
"How much you give me for it?"
"You're so beautiful. Where you from?"
"America. Look, I've bought a keychain. Those women over there need some too." I randomly pointed at a group of women.
"America?! Barak Obama!!?"
"Mm hmm." I would have left the area myself, but I was staked out under a blue Eiffel Tower eating a ham and cheese crepe. This man would have to go. Not me.
"Where is your hotel?"
"You don't need to know."
"You have a lover?"
"Come on - you have a lover?"
He went.
(Don't worry, Mom...I never go anywhere that there aren't hundreds of people.)

And then the man at the metro:
"You have stolen my heart. You grabbed it out of my chest. My heart, it is yours. Let me spend the day with you. You are truly beautiful. Your eyes, they are beautiful."
Unfortunately for him: "No."
"You don't like me, mademoiselle?"
He went also.

There was also the forced-redundancy man in line at the Eiffel Tower:
"Parlez-vous francais?"
"No." (I do, a bit, but there was no reason for me to tell him that.)
"Allamand?" (German)
"Oui." My answering in French threw him off a bit.
"Ah, it's too bad. I only speak few words in English - hello, what is your name, goodbye."
"Ok, then, goodbye."
"Oh, mademoiselle, you from America??"
I nod. I am in a line of hundreds to go up the Eiffel Tower. There isn't much I can do about this guy right now.
"New York?"
"Ok, where you from?"
"North Carolina."
"North Carolina."
"Caroline Nord."
"AH! CAROLINE NORD! J'adore Caroline Nord!!"
Yeah right. Like he even knows where it is.
Anyway, once he realized that I wasn't about to provide a stimulating conversation, he left too. They all leave when they find out their latest muse is cold-hearted.

The only conversation that really made me laugh was the one with the guy at a little shop on the Ave de Suffren. I had bought a Paris bag there two days earlier. After the man had found out I was American, he had asked me if I liked American chili (and yes, I do...I love it, actually). This day, as I walked by, he recognized me, and called out, "American chili! ça va?" I laughed at him and said, "Oui, ça va. You remember me?" He said, "Your eyes, they sparkle. I could never forget your eyes!" And then he asked me to go out with him that night - a request that I turned down, but told him that I was sure he would find a different girl.

His response: " Ah, I only want you. I have passed up six hundred girls before you. Please go with me. You are the only one I can think of."

Now it is true that I was impressed that this guy remembered me. But...I have heard words like these before, and not just from strangers. So with the knowledge and experience that all men who say these words are liars, I once again turned down his invitation and continued on my way.

As a side note, while I jest about romps in the sack, these men were most likely just looking to steal money from me.

Unfortunately for them, they got none of my lovin'. Unfortunately for me, I was alone in a city full of lovers. They were everywhere - at every monument, every museum, every metro. My trip was thoroughly wonderful, except for the fact that I found myself terribly lonely at the most random moments each day (and also except for my stuff getting stolen...there was that). My thoughts drifted to my parents, my brother and sister, and to one other significant person who has recently made the choice to become nameless in my world. How sad that among all the kissing couples in Paris at Christmas, I was completely alone and unsure of my ability to ever find a real and lasting love. I too (per recently ruined dreams) should have had someone with me in Paris.

To be continued,
That girl in Switzerland


  1. aw...I don't want to roam Paris alone. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't take the "alone time" so well there...Cincy sure, Paris no.

    I'm glad you're so good at saying no though. ;) And my guess is you ate lots of carrots growing up...Nanny always told me that they'd make my eyes sparkle-her way of convincing me to eat them.

  2. LOL!!! She always told me that they would make my nose wiggle...something I've been passing on to my boys here in Switzerland...although I think I remember the sparkling-eye tale too. Awwwww...that makes me miss her!

  3. You have a blog??? J'adore Heather's blog! I laughed so hard reading your stories. Miss you. Way to turn down the crazy Europeans :p