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When are you in Paris?

Naniso Tswai

  • I have travelled afar and aplenty but never before have I met a city such as Paris. In fact, “that Paris exists and anyone could choose to live anywhere else in the world will always be a mystery to me” (Woody Allen: Midnight in Paris). This powerful quote both explains and encapsulates my relationship with Paris. Young, energetic and full of life, almost instantly her cuteness consumes you, coursing through your veins until all you desire is to never leave her embrace. But it is not all catwalk perfections, as despite her elegant demeanour, living here is an altogether different and gritty affair. For the tourist Paris dons her most beautiful frock and flirts an irresistible charm, but were you intent on becoming a permanent fixture, prepare yourself for her invariably coarse moods. She is obstinately and often infuriatingly French. She wears her French mantra, indeed breaths it as if though to do anything else would be an affront to her flag. Even when I ventured into her sprawling contours expecting her personality to become diluted, however I was both relieved and perplexed by the resoluteness of character. She is France at its most unyielding, arrogant and concentrated self, but damn, do I love to love her. I invite you to follow my own discoveries of Paris’s hidden corners and whispered beauties.

Rush Bar

Decorated with various international flags, the place has an Olympic feel to it, that is until you start socialising, and […]

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Le Marché de la Place de la Réunion

At heart I am a market man, preferring the smells and sights of fresh fruits and vegetables displayed in the […]

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Le Merle Moqueur bookstore

Le Merle Moqueur bookstore is what a bookstore was always meant to be. Far removed from those multistory monstrosities that […]

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Le Poisson Bleu Café

There is something inherently evasive and difficult about the local cafe. It walks that fine line between hostility and hospitality. […]

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The Elephant Paname Cultural Centre

The Elephant Paname is all at once the most unlikeliest and ideal venue for culture. I went there by chance, […]

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Napoléon and Europe

Given the centrality of Napoléon to the French narrative it came as surprise to me to discover that he only […]

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Dorothy’s Gallery

Dorothy’s Gallery is not Parisian, not in the traditional and strictest sense of the term. It is a slice of America […]

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Restaurant La petite rose des sables

We were half way through our meal when Zouzou, the amazing mother of the place, stood beaming at us, “how […]

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