in paris, you play the part
there are a lot of quotes about paris. apparently it’s always a good idea, and that seems to be everyone’s favorite. and while i love ms. hepburn as much as the next white girl in a decorative scarf, my favorite quote about paris is “in paris, everybody wants to be an actor; nobody is content to be a spectator.” merci, jean cocteau. this sentence wears many other costumes so perhaps you’d better recognize it as carpe diem, smell the roses, or #yolo (but hopefully you don’t use this one). this tends to be my motto in life regardless, but on my most recent trip to paris i truly took the expression to heart.
i was lucky enough to score a room at the shangri-la, paris - one of the most truly luxurious addresses in the entire city (world?). bear in mind this is not where i would stay were i not “on the job.” i tend not to shell out upwards of a grand per night on a hotel room. that said, if i could, i’d probably do it here.
rolling up through the gate to the majestic front entrance of the building - which is built into the former home of Napoleon Bonaparte’s grandson - my jaw was dragging on the sidewalk behind me. just as i was about to fasten it properly back into place, i was escorted to my room, and back down went that jaw as i was smacked in the face with a full-frontal of the dignified, imperial, iconic eiffel tower...close enough that i could almost reach my hand out the window and wrap my fist around it. a small side table was festooned with welcome gifts - a bottle of champagne chilling on ice, a fruit platter only rivaled by carmen miranda’s head, chocolate marble cake dusted with gold leaf, maracons...all plans to go out and enjoy a final night in paris were quickly dashed as we (my traveling companion and i) decided that an opportunity like this was too good to pass up.
the cork of the champagne soared across the room in true ostentatious fashion. we clinked our glasses together and slugged back the entire bottle, parading around the room in plush bathrobes (because what else were we supposed to do?). feeling freshly buzzed on champagne (from a bottle that actually said champagne on it), we dressed for dinner and made our way to one of the hotel’s restaurant, la bauhinia, a fusion of asian and french cuisine. here we tucked into spicy shrimp pad thai, curry matsaman, beef with noodles, and a gazpacho with spring rolls. a bottle of red rounded out the meal nicely.
stumbling in true stiletto fashion back to the room, on went the bikinis and up came the room service as we were tragically out of champagne. because what else do you do after an epic meal and endless booze except order more and jump into a bathtub? legs up over the edge of the tub, bottle of champagne chilling in a bucket beside us, and american football on the bathroom television, it was one of the most over-indulgent, borderline obnoxious evenings i can ever recall having. the only things missing were the hookers and cocaine. as i was in paris, i was given a role, and i played the part. and i regret nothing.