9 Oct 2012

The Eiffel Tower

I rather fancied myself the love-struck heroine from a romantic moving picture.  The one who glided up the Eiffel Tower by night with her officer gentleman who swept her off her feet in a quixotic liaison involving cherry liqueurs and a jazz musician.  They’ve reached the summit and he presses into her back, gently enveloping her in his arms as they stare out towards Paris, twinkling in the moonlight.  No walking is involved; the steps are inconsequential as their love allows them to literally float to the tower’s pinnacle.  Because that’s what happens in every great love story…literally.  No queues, no handymen sitting grouchily in the corner telling you to hurry up.  No tacky souvenir shops on the second floor selling outrageously expensive keep-sakes.  And certainly no fatigued and frustrated “are we nearly there yet?” remarks to dampen the mood.

This is how I’d planned my first visit to the Eiffel Tower.  The reality however, was rather different.  Let me enlighten you…

1) Rain, rain, go away, come again another day.  As much as I love singing, this wasn’t really the song I had planned for my ascension.  I was hoping for some heart-wrenching ballad to execute my starry-eyed dream, but instead I was greeted with blitz, rain and a bad hair-do.  Where’s a beauty parlour when you need one?

2) Other people.  I know the Eiffel Tower is considered the greatest tourist attraction in Paris, but I was rather hoping I’d be alone with my beau for my romantic on-screen debut.  Screaming babies and camera-flashing Americans weren’t on the agenda.  Did no-one read the script?

3) Loved-up couples.  And too many of them.  Especially since I wasn’t one of them.  These aren’t tears; they’re raindrops, I promise.

4) No helicopter to pick me up from the summit.  Instead, a queue to take the elevator back down to the second floor.  V.I.P. – hello?

5) The celebratory Champagne they were serving at the summit wasn’t free.  Need I say more?

6) Walking.  Up 600 steps.  And down 600 steps.  “Hello blisters!”…she says, panting.

7) The producers never got round to casting the male lead.  Hence, romantic dream shattered.

But on a brighter note:  I’ve officially done the Eiffel Tower and the view was rather tremendous.  Even if the grey sky made everything look like pond water.

Watch this space.


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