Paradise

I’m back from Paris!

We had proper French cuisine last night! My first time having real French cuisine! (Not like those ridiculous, garlic butter-drenched escargots you get at a Malaysian buffet line.) In a Parisian restaurant!

Foie gras, duck magret, gaspacho (cold tomato soup), cocotte lapin (rabbit casserole), and nougat for dessert.

It was a restaurant that was recommended in a guidebook. It’s not exactly cheap, but completely worth it for the good food we had. And I mean GOOD. Dinner ended up being 2.5 hours long!

It’s funny, in Beginning French class, we used to learn about French dishes. We learned the different meats, the different ways of cooking, the degrees of done-ness. But last night when we went to the restaurant (more like a bistro, actually) and the guy showed us a handwritten menu entirely in French, it was like someone wiped out all the French cuisine vocab from my white-board mind.

I love Paris.

* * * * *

Hm I don’t know. But I think I experienced a proper bit of paradise one day last week.

I ducked under heavy, low hanging branches, squeezed between flower bushes almost twice my height, strolled into shaded areas under humongous, centuries-old trees, climbed over logs and fallen branches, and came into this small, seemingly secret clearing, shaded by giant trees, but lit at certain spots by the persistent sun rays that found their way past the leaves. Most wonderful of all, there was a small pond whose amazingly clear waters sparkle under the sun light.

According to my aunt, no one really knows about this spot because it is hidden behind these massive bushes, but you could hear running water. If you push through the bushes and you finally get out, it is like a hidden world is suddenly revealed to you.

The pond water is crystal clear, it is like a mirror! The water reflects every bit of the brilliant colors of the flowers in the huge bushes.

The best thing is, it is so damn quiet. Incredibly tranquil.

You cannot hear anything other than water running down the small stream, the wind combing through the tree leaves, and birds chirping gaily.

There was this log next to the pond that I think would be the perfect spot to sit on for hours, contemplating life, love, and why. It reminds me of the Enchanted Place of the Hundred Acre Wood.

You know how people always say, oh yeah when you are in the forest blah blah blah, you feel like you are “one with nature” blah blah blah? I actually don’t feel that. Have never felt that. In fact, I actually feel very separated from nature.

You know how when the wind blows and the leaves rustle? I feel like the trees are whispering, not some great secret or anything, but something frivolous; I imagine them gossiping, possibly even about me. “Look at that human standing there, looking so stupid.”

Or you know when we see a particularly beautiful beetle, or some other weird-looking creature, and we go, “Omigod see this, see this! So pretty!!” I always feel as though these things are thinking, “Yes I am here. Oh shut up already.”

Does anyone else feel that? That nature is constantly mocking us in their own secret way?

Anyway.

I know pictures say a thousand words, and a single photo would render all that crap above quite unnecessary, but I haven’t got any photos of this secret paradise because I didn’t have my camera with me, simply because it was an impromptu trip. Our initial plan was to go to a Korean food store to get tofu.

That’s one thing that’s pretty wonderful about London. You have modern buildings, and you also have these grand gothic buildings from centuries ago, and THEN you also have parks. Lots and lots of green.

* * * * *

Tomorrow, we’re watching a Mozart opera. Two of some of the best seats in the house.

And the day after, a 14-hour long flight to…. home. 🙂

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