A night in Paris… A city to fall in love with or be seduced by?

If it was excitement I was after, I needn’t have left Soho. I’ve experienced it all;  sex, seduction and love. Ok, not so much the latter. Hence why for my birthday last October I decided to leave the lure of London for a night in Paris…

originally published on Travel Making Kai

Kai in ParisAcross the English Channel lies a city said to be the ‘most romantic in the world’. There you can get lost in an array of beautiful sights, sounds and tastes with your loved one… It’s every girl’s dream to fall in love, even a singleton’s. So I took that journey across the channel to discover if a single girl can find pleasure in a city drenched in romance… Would I be seduced by a night in Paris and let my guard down all in the name of… Love?

“Hold your horses! We’re not even in Paris yet!”

That’s the thought that crosses my mind the the moment I discover what that annoying squeak is. Surprisingly, it’s not a sound from my mental book of “ultimate bad manners” (a collection of bad manners that disgust me on public transport); someone sucking food out of their teeth for everyone to hear! I look around the cabin of the Eurostar train in search of the culprit excepting others to be straining their necks with the same intention. Am I the only one disturbed by that sound?

That sound, it turns out, is actually coming from the couple in the seat in front of me locking lips (more like sucking lips) every perfect 5 minutes as though on a timer.

It dawns on me this trip isn’t going to be made easy for a singleton… I’ve barely left London and the sound of ‘love’ is already irritating me. How will I cope when the train arrives in Paris in a few hours time?… Will I arrive on the platform and find myself on a film set where everyone is kissing?… Even pigeons locking beaks making that annoying groaning noise?….

“Wake up Kai!” It’s just a bad day-dream (but not far from reality).

20131016-163055I’m going to the world’s most romantic city for my birthday! And if I want to make the most of this 24hr date with Paris, I’ll have to stop thinking like a singleton and start thinking like a woman ready for love… And that my friend, is exactly what I did… Because I’d rather be in Paris…

I woke up this morning with a distinctive feeling of excitement. Not only was it my birthday, but I was out of London! A sense of relief washed over me as though finally over an ex. Excited to move on. Paying particular attention to my appearance; it’s a first date after all and first impressions count. The makeup- light and simple, the hair short and sleek, though still concerned about my short locks leaving me ‘exposed’, not offering the same protective lure as my long extensions. But overall satisfied that I can confidently go out as myself- as natural as I’m willing to be. I didn’t come to Paris looking for somebody to fall in love with. So once I was able to ignore those grim faces on the metro, and see past the conflicting ‘shabby-chic’ of parts of the city, I was set to make the most of my date with romance… Alone in Paris!

The first compliment I received as I strolled by included the word “chic” (I’m embarrassed to write that after 5 years studying French in school, that was the only word I picked out of that sentence). The old man who gave those words wasn’t a good representation of “chic” himself, but nether-the-less, it put a bounce in my step and I smiled back in gratitude. That was the only comment I received that day, and that was the only one I needed, as though Paris had confirmed the theme for my day: chic.

Now, 24hrs is not enough to do all the “chic” things Paris has to offer. Not even half. So I found myself on a fast pace no different to my walk in London. A far cry from the easy-breezy-strolling-along-without-a-care-in-the-world pace I day-dreamed of having. Neither did I find myself in a cute Parisian café off the beaten track to people watch from. No time for that. Just getting to the Eiffel Tower was a mission (only because I was too proud ask directions in broken French). But once I found it was worth it.

And everything else seemed to find its ways across my path. It’s easy to see beauty in Paris. Beauty is romance.

Delicious meal at the ‘trés chic’ Maison Blanche in Paris
Delicious meal at the ‘trés chic’ Maison Blanche in Paris

And so it was that night that Paris romanced me. An evening at Maison Blanche for my birthday dinner included a meal with flavours dancing off my tongue. I hadn’t expected this from French cuisine. The evening was amicable yet lanced with romance. The view of the Eiffel Tower offered added splendour.

Paris wooed me that night the way any woman would love to be wooed… Paris made me understand why I’m still single… I’m just not prepared to settle for less. My night wasn’t overly exciting, however the simplicity was intense allowing me to savour every moment… It was, dare I say, romantic!

And yet the city didn’t cross the thresh-hold into seduction. I wasn’t seduced by the charm of Paris to ‘be in Love’. It remained classy and tasteful.… Lets face it, if it was seduction I was looking for, I could have just stayed in London! I willing chose to offer myself for a night in Paris. And I don’t regret the wonderful night I had even if it does remain as just that – a night in Paris… Though my aunt can rest reassured that her morals are deeply instilled in me and that I won’t make it a habit of sleeping with my first dates (I’m a Lady)!

So I’m leaving Paris with a sense of fulfilment. A sense of gratitude. A sense of respect for a city so famed for romance, however it wasn’t distasteful caricatured or overly animated as you might expect. It didn’t take advantage of a gullible heart of a singleton. I wasn’t falsely lead to believing in love-at-first-sight. I wasn’t made to feel left out. Neither was I made to feel that I stood out as I strolled along the streets alone. My date with the city will be one I will remember always. But would I do it again? Probably not again alone. With a significant other would be my preferred choice for another significant occasion.

And what made it different from the others? Romance. I feel in love with charm… Once upon a time I had this with London…

I’m back on the Eurostar without hesitation to get back home. Paris was great, but if I’m to take anything away from our date, it’s to be grateful for what I have already… And I’ve always had London. I just need to rekindle the charm my city offers.

Eurostar from London to Paris prices start from £69 return.

Maison Blanche 15 Avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris, France Phone:+33 1 47 23 55 99

Here are a few of my favourite cities I fall in love with:

  1. Rio de Janeiro – will always have a special place in my heart… The city where I fell in love with myself and with life!
  2. Accra – the night life, social scene, a dose of my African culture all in a melting pot!
  3. Tuscany – When I met the smartly dressed Italiano and he whisked me off my feet taking me on a wine tour around Chanti, my visit to the hometown of Leonardo, Vinci, my solo walks around Florance eating ice cream.
  4. Palermo – the night life is simply seduction in a non sexual way… Aperitivos, bars, live good music, cute Sicilianos, laidback atmosphere, sun sea and sun… It all appeals to me.
  5. Palma – I fell in love with Mallorca starting from the moment I landed in Palma – a first for Spain.

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