January 11, 2010

A 'trip' to remember...

Okay. Paris was fun, I will give you that. One place I would love to visit again. Two days just isn’t enough. First thing’s first, the tower was simply great. But then, we always don’t want sugar in every meal. Try as I might, I just couldn’t seem get the lofty structure out of my sight. Which explains why I had to spend too much time indoors. If you are in Paris, and do not see the tower, it’s probably because you have either turned your back towards it or enclosed yourself in a windowless room.

Louvre (for some reasons they pronounce it 'Loov'), one of the biggest museums in the world, and of course the biggest in France, is one you cannot miss. The parody of course is that the main treasure in there, The Mona Lisa, is not French at all. But I stood in front of it, cried, I don’t know why, and let myself merge into the Italian masterpiece. There are more, and I tell you it's worth the leg-sore you nourish walking inside that gigantic building.

The Seine (La Seine, as they call it) flows with majesty right in the middle of the city. A man like me with poor sense of judgement had to spend a good amount of time deciding which was downstream. Plains always confused me anyway. You will be sickened to see as many bridges over the river. I have seen less pots in all the public toilets of Thimphu combined. They are full of surprises too. Likewise, the oldest bridge in Paris is ironically called ‘New Bridge’ (Pont Neuf). There’s one bridge, under which we can make a wish and it is known to grant every wish. Just as I was going to, the guide tells me that I need to kiss someone on my side to make the wish come true. Hell I would kiss that lady sitting pretty beside me. Getting thrown into the river by her boyfriend would be anything but my wish.

I stood on a place where Marie Antoinette and her husband (King Louis XVI) had been executed by guillotine, 217 years ago. Place de la Concorde. They have a huge Egyptian obelisk where once stood the guillotine. At 3300 years old it is the oldest structure in Paris. It felt tingly to stand by a side where 1300 heads were chopped off during the French Revolution. Mmmm, Parisians are one scary people. All for saying, “Eat cakes”? (For the record, she is just credited for having said that, never proven).

But they are lovely too. Moulin Rouge (Red Mill) says so. In the heart of Paris’ Red Light area. To walk by in the middle of the night is like throwing yourself into a pack of wolves. Everyone wants you to be their customer. But no, no flashy legs and lipstick girls beckoning you to come over. It’s all males doing the talking (asking). The agents! The erotica museum was superb, which is why I spent my time there than with the agents. 7 floors of bizarre artwork, you are bound to get dizzy.

Notre Dame is a rare example of the French architectural ingenuity. You will know why it took about 180 years to finish it. There are more historical sites and masterpieces to see. And I was crazy to think two days would be enough. Yet, all the more reason to go back and enjoy what I have missed this time. Only heaven knows when will that second chance come.

The days in Paris were cool. The nights? Not so. To keep it cheap I booked into an affordable dorm with 6 beds,and a shared bathroom. I step into the room and spot two lovely American ladies. Actually, one was fat and the other was PHAT (pretty hot and tempting). Cool! They are all giggly and we have fun chit chatting. 3 beds to go and lo, 3 more step in. Two dashing Asian girls accompanied by a lad. If life can ever get kind, this was it! But I couldn't help wishing the girls responded to my smiles in a better way. Anyway, time to sleep over it. Kidding me? It’s time to stay awake whole night. Boy, can this woman snore! I am actually slightly embarrassed because we look alike (Asian). I can hear the American ladies twisting and turning in their beds. I would have been surprised if they could have slept through the din.

But praise heavens again, I lived to see another day. I just fled from the room. Felt lot better exposing oneself in the bitter cold, but enjoying the silence by the Seine. The transportation system is good. Every place you can name or spell is connected by metro. The trains on rubber wheels look cool. Another day of cruise and strutting in and around Paris and it’s time to return. Yeah, yeah...all good things must come to an end. But not before you get another jolt.

I left few of my stuffs in the hostel locker room because it was getting heavy to carry around. Going back, I just couldn’t find it. So once again Paris officially becomes the first place where I lost a belonging and made a written statement to someone. The thief, the devil rip his guts apart, got away with an 18Euro souvenir that I had paid for at Eiffel Tower. I am not so sure what 'he' (presuming girls just snore, and don’t steal) wanted to do with my stuffs. Well, he didn’t get much but now I am a smite short of a bed-sheet, towel, toothbrush, 2 pairs of smelly socks and an underwear. I hope he wears the last one on his head and jumps into oblivion to celebrate his victory!

Paris, you indeed were full of surprises. Just can’t wait to go back again!


  1. Great piece of travel Writing that should be published in a Magazine or a newspaper here in Bhutan.
    My Dream Land once used to be Paris but after I grew up Yangthang became my only dream land.
    Anyway, the Tower made me wonder all the time! Bhutan can't build a bridge over a river in 2000s when the French have built heaven-touching tower in 1800s.
    You just cried in front of Mona Lisa? I would have performed three best dances in celebration. I wish you took my eyes with you on the trip! How I wish to be in your pants when you walked the red light zone!!! How i wish i was in your underwear when you shared the room with those beauties. Just because you didn't do the man's role these ladies had to run away with your underwear.

    At the end of the page I just realized of all the Bhutanese who have been to Paris you are the only one who show us Paris through your soul!

  2. Wonderful piece of writing! Reminded me of my own days in Paris in the mid-1990's. What struck me most during my visit were the romantic couples everywhere - age no bar. I used to envy old couples sitting on benches all cuddled up. I wished for such moments for myself.

    I had heard Paris was a haven for lovers. I thought it was true, but unfortunately I was without a lover there. Too bad.

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  4. Truly tempting Tongyal - I am really envious. Just like everyone, Paris features even on my list of the most-wanted-city-to-visit on earth. I am glad you are having lots of fun out there. Way to go man - sorry about your smelly underwear though. Hope it has landed in safe hands. Hehe... Keep it up.

  5. Hi Tongyal,
    It's alys such a fun going through your piece. I dream of going to Paris someday.
    Your underwear loosing part is freaking funny.

    Thanks again-it's always such a treat going through your write ups. Please write more frequently:))


  6. I have no words except to say that you left me laughing my lungs out.

  7. Yep, Paris will be a mess if travelling without a lover. So the next time you folks go you very well know whom to take along. Try spring or summer... winter is a tad too cold :)