My lily flavoured Paris

The man was placing the big white flowers in the street garbage bin as though it was a crystal vase.

“Dod! Lets get some lillies and take them to the girls” – I exclaimed, right before my little companion skipped a step in excitement.

“Sure, sure” the young man chimed in “I will prepare for you special” and a second after we stopped in front of him, the powerful scent brought a big smile to my face.

He took a big stalk from the box near him and carefully cleaned it up and presented it to me. And then another one. And another one.  “Merci. Merci beaucoup!” by now charmingly drunk on the scent, I sang as we left our flower fairy, who seemed equally happy to have not wasted at least part of his probably unsuitable for sale product.

We started walking down to the Seine to meet the rest of the family, but now we were the centre of attention. People were stopping me, I think to ask me where we bought our white load. Then a woman out of the blue chirped in how wonderful they were. We stole all the attention around us and Paris was ours for at least a little bit.

And this is how easy it is to change the flavour of one’s experience in a place.

Last time I was in Paris, I was not charmed. Maybe the glued to me one year old did not help, maybe Mr.Blab was not a good guide or maybe I was just not in the needed frame of mind. I found people snooty and poshy and the city over-hyped.

This time…this time Paris got me.

Sure, it is shabbier than a lot of other European capitals. But then again, that makes it accessible and relaxed. No? Yeah, it is built on top of Swiss cheese like ground, which has collapsed not once, but it means that there are no modern high rise buildings and furious development where it matters.

Paris is fun – from the leisurely way people enjoy a single cup of  one-sip espresso for hours, the long hours they spend in the charming jardins (gardens) on a sunny day or afternoons sitting on the banks of the Seine; all the way to the amazing assortment of food for everyone and the truly never sleeping nature of the city (where catching the metro at midnight is no different than doing it at midday).

 

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There is a good reason why Paris is the most visited city in the World.

It might not be obvious, but it is there.

And this time I found it for myself.

 

I think my children did too ;)