We planned very little to do in Paris except eat and drink. Ducks confit and magritte, wine, pastries, chocolate, steaks and more pastries. More wine. The occasional sliced fruit or glazed berry that came glistening atop whatever tarts caught my eye. It was Paris. Even if we died from heart attacks, they would be the most delicious heart attacks in the world.
Tom and I had both been to Paris before. I first visited with my parents in spring of 2005 (when, thanks to my father’s adventurous tastes, we dined at the same Chinese restaurant twice)and again with my cousin Karen at the start of 2010. Tom had traveled there just after college with an ex-girlfriend as part of a five-week EuroTrip. “I was poor as fuck the first time I went to Paris,” Tom said, “It’ll be nice to not have to eat only baguettes and cheese with Vegemite, though even that was super delicious.” I pitied his girlfriend at the time. Though unemployed, I don’t travel with people who are poor as fuck (PAF). It just isn’t fun, you know? Thankfully Tom is no longer PAF, and I went about trying to secure some restaurant reservations. I considered too, implementing a few cultural things on our itinerary, but our time was short. The first most highbrow thing we did was stand in front of the Centre Pompidou on our first night there.
“I’ve never been inside,” Tom said.
“It’s nice,” I murmured.
I snapped a photo and we went on to dinner. A la prochaine, Pompidou. The second most highbrow thing we did in Paris was stand in line for the Catacombs on our last morning. The line was very long. We had both a lunch reservation and a train to catch. We bought sandwiches, ate them in line, then checked our watches and decided we had to leave for lunch. A la prochaine, Les Catacombs! While Paris captures hearts, it seduces stomachs. And we – certainly I – pretty much let ours rule. So we ate. We ate, and then we walked. And then we ate some more.
On the Eurostar, I, hungover from Tom’s company holiday party the night before, napped. When I woke up, Tom had placed before me a ham sandwich, orange juice, and champagne. “Let’s celebrate! We’re going to Paris!” Thus was born a new train tradition (a drink and a “sando” as Tom calls it) and one of our favorite memories of the entire trip.