20110915

i'm irresistible, you fool

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paris is the kind of city that sweeps you off your feet with oodles of charm, romance and impossibly pretty desserts - so i've heard. i wouldn't know. when it came time for me to make my first visit, reality decided to beat paris to the punch and just dropkick me instead. within an hour of landing at charles de gaulle, i got robbed by an itinerant newspaper vendor. later, i nearly came to blows with a middle-aged man at a nightclub after he threatened, in broken english, to attack us with his elbows. instead of a twilight stroll along the seine, i had to use the river as a rudimentary compass to guide a violently ill classmate back to our hostel, stopping for frequent vomit sessions along the way. despite my study abroad program's strict code of cultural immersion, i quickly gave up trying to speak french outside the classroom, unable to get any of the locals to respond to me in kind.

nevertheless, i thoroughly enjoyed paris. i got a big kick out of the city's tourist hot spots, met a group of amazing people, and one or two french women even complimented me on my outfits, which did wonders for my confidence - if i couldn't speak one of their languages, at least i was picking up another with ease. still, for some reason, that fabled parisian magic always felt fleeting at best.

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i can't remember if someone sent me to musee carnavalet or if i just wandered in while bumming around le marais, but once i laid eyes on les parisiennes de kiraz, i knew i was going to be there for a while. all sulky sex appeal bottled up in curiously leggy, bottom-heavy bodies, i immediately identified with their silhouettes. still, these gouache women looked as if they led more exciting lives on decades-old canvas than i could ever dream of. blithe, flippant, and casually provocative, the intangible allure of their fictional lifestyle felt much more magical than anything i'd seen in so far in this gallic metropolis. the best part was that none of their attributes really seemed specific to the city. if i wanted to, i could take it home with me.

up until then, i didn't know you could have a girl crush on art. i had to be dragged away from the exhibit. luckily, its accompanying book came home with me and has since become a well-loved addition to my collection. sometimes i flip through it for tips on how to build an outfit around these thighs, but more often than not, i just settle on one piece and study it intensely, hoping to acquire some of that cavalier charisma for myself. reality need not apply.

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3 comments:

The GUILTY HYENA said...

I've been fortunate to visit Paris countless of times, I have a love affair with Montmartre, Le Marais and the artist Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec.

But my first time there, I was hit by the Paris syndrome, I tried not to speak in English because they supposedly hate that..but when I attempted to speak any French, many looked at me with some dis-contempt, so it was lose lose situation, after that I mostly converse in English now with the added standard french words thrown in!

Lexy @ QUIRKY EXPLOSION said...

AH PARIS?!?!!

It's actually a little bit ironic. I'm outside a French Cafe right now. There's all this French music and I'm kind of pretending that I'm in the heart of Paris right now. Hehe. That's simply HOW I ROLL.

Yeah.

QUIRKYEXPLOSION.blogspot.com

Alexandra Shineider said...

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