“If you want to go, you have to go next week or not at all.” These words were uttered by my boss when my boyfriend and I told him we were planning a trip to Paris at the end of the month. Oh and we had to tell him whether or not we were going by the end of the day.
How were we going to achieve this? The boyfriend deemed it impossible. I would get him to Paris, even if it killed me. I hoped the oracle which was the internet would have the answers. Last minute.com was a miracle in terms of hotels; it was transport which was a bit trickier.
Eurostar – we’d be more likely to ice skate on molten lava. Flights? They were just as expensive or were not available for the dates we needed – most people booked well in advance. The boyfriend mumbled something about giving up, I screeched at him to make me another pot of tea. I nibbled on a nail and racked my brain…what other ways were there to get to Paris? And then it dawned on me. Bus. There were spaces on a Eurolines coach leaving from London. It would take give or take nine hours. I informed the boyfriend he’d be travelling to Paris by coach, he threw me, “You’re either a genius or completely crazy.” There is a fine line.
We arrived in Paris when dawn was breaking – the boyfriend quirked a brow; “So, do you know any French?” I kept my mouth shut; I didn’t think ‘ Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?’ would cut it. Armed with my ratty Paris map, we walked the streets of Paris; we took in the beauty of Notre Dame’s stained glass windows, marvelled at the Eifel Tower, wandered through the Lourve and strolled along the banks of the Seine. The city was enchanting, a piece of sumptuous artwork with in itself.
Exhausted, we finally collapsed in the wicker chairs of a cafe, where the boyfriend leaned across the table; “Can I smoke in here?” Before I could utter a stern response, an ashtray was plopped in front of him. He grinned at me as our food was delivered by a beautiful French boy, tea towel hanging out of his back pocket and a cigarette dangling from his fingertips.