My first date in Paris with a Ventian named Marco was going reasonably well until he asked me if I'd consider taking money to sleep with him. For real.
I met him alongside the Left Bank of the Scene on Saturday evening, after I'd spent a lovely couple of days with Lionel in the 11th arrondisemont. I'd met Lionel through my friend Ayline in Peru and he was a gracious amiable host. Not only did he feed me incredible goat's cheese and fantastic French bread (the best in Paris), but he also gave me a session of "Hair Therapy", whereby he used tarot cards, his intuition and my hair to help me move through blocks. It was incredible and I already feel so much lighter, which is good considering I'll be walking almost 800km over the next 6 weeks.
Back to Marco: he was in Paris meeting his sister for a week of holidays. We met, chatted, bought a bottle of wine and snacks and sat alongside the river for a couple of hours. I was swept away with the romance of Paris and could have been a little more discerning I suppose. He seemed very short but sweet, but it turns out he was just short. Walking along the bank of the river we must have looked like an Italian Dudley Moore with one of his blond tall wives. I thought a little smooch wouldn't hurt anyone; I was very clear that we would just be kissing and holding hands and there would be nothing more. He was okay with that, until he wasn't I guess. I told him there would be no kisses if he smoked his cigarettes, which he seemed okay with for the first couple of hours. He was okay with that, until he wasn't. And so, after him sparking up a smoke and his not-so-romantic proposal inviting me to partake in the oldest profession in the world, I bit him a hasty adieu. I tried not to beat myself up about being so naïve so I sang "Je ne regrette rien" to make me feel better. It worked. I am only human after all.
The next day I spent happily solo, and taught my first yoga class in French at the Lole boutique in Le Merais. I also romantically wining and dining myself in Paris and visiting all the sites. The hightlight was an amazing gospel show at an old Cathedral near the Champs d'elysees. It was pretty cool to sing about my little light shining, in the middle of an ancient church in Paris. Apres show I wandered into the Four Seasons and sat to take in some jazz by a trio before heading home to bed. Paris is amazing and beautiful, but I was ready for the country and ashram life. I was ready to go inward, wake up early for sadhana, chant in the ambrosial hours of the morning and ready to begin my journey: The Camino.