Bonjour Paris!

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014


ADIOS, Madrid! Muchas gracias for the calories, millions of them, but every single bit was well worth it. After all, how often am I in your place? I will worry about the weight gain when I get back home. But that won’t be soon as I have to “renew my residency” in one of my favorite places on Earth—Paris.

Paris is always lovely at any time of the year, to me at least. I was lucky enough to have visited the city in early Spring, at the peak of Summer, the middle of Fall and on Winter’s tail. Extremes, yes, I hugged the city at its hottest and coolest (but I dare not at its coldest) and it hugged me back, and I loved every second of it.

Why I adore the city, I do not know. “It must be the air,” (which most likely filled with the essence of love) is always my reply to why I like the place so much.

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Paris is not referred to as the City of Lights for nothing. As the sun sets, the city wears its faint charming glow at dusk that intensifies as the color of the sky deepens in hue. Paris is indeed lovely when it glimmers that it lures anyone to take a walk, a relaxing one, along the paved roads and cobblestone streets and discover something new, or perhaps sit and enjoy a cup of coffee by sidewalk of some small café while gazing at the brightly lit Arc di Triomphe or at the flickering of lights bursting from the Eiffel Tower as the clock strikes a new hour.

Sans the nightlights, the charm of Paris doesn’t diminish at all. The day offers as much excitement as the night. Aside from the main tourist attractions, it’s the ideal time to fearlessly tread the path less taken, by the tourists at least. This is where the true charm of the place lies—the side streets, the districts at the end of the Metro line, parks, quaint shops and the marche aux puces or the flea market, cafes and boulangeries, and more.

It’s one of the most tourist friendly destinations in the world. Contrary to common perception, the French are not rude. One should approach the locals with courtesy and it will be returned. Always remember that you are the visitor and do not presume that everyone can understand English touristy the place may have become, such attitude will always raise eyebrows. A smile, an “excusez-moi” and “bonjour” followed by “Parles-vousanglais?” will always do the trick, and always say “merci” whatever the reply may be.

Busier, that’s what the city has become since my most recent visit, and the arrival of a new set of tourists (that’s us) will make the place busier. A new adventure was waiting for all of us, a new feast for the eyes and the palate.

But with or without company, Paris is fantastique! It’s full of life, filled with endless adventures and possibilities. It’s a place no soul can’t say “I’m lonely” for you have the city as your lover. And if that’s not enough, seek out your other lovers who go by the names of Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuitton and even Laduree. For sure you’ll be toruing the city with a wide grin on your face. Amour, amour, amour. J’aime Paris!

For more travel & lifestyle stories, visit http://jeepneyjinggoy.blogspot.com/ and http://apples-and-lemons.blogspot.com/

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 04, 2014.

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