While in Paris, I was amazed what experts the French are in enjoying their life. They can turn the simplest of things into pure pleasure, like having a cup of coffee at a cafe or sitting down on a park bench and enjoying an ice-cream. It really makes you wonder, how little one needs to be happy and how happiness comes from the smallest of things. Then, I thought to myself: ’’More people should be doing this.’’ That’s why I came up with a list of things that I believe one should be doing in order to enjoy their life like the French.
1. Refer to your significant other as your ‘’lover,’’ e.g. ‘’my lover loves the eggshell white in our bedroom,’’ or ‘’my lover can’t live without crème bruleé,’’ etc. Having a ‘’lover’’ sounds very French and therefore very cool.
2. Just relax and lie back in your deckchair. The Paris parks are chock-a-block full of really heavy iron deckchairs (that way they can’t get stolen) for park visitors to lie back and relax after work, it’s incredible! A park in the middle of Paris looks like a fully-clothed beach. I loved it!
3. Wear a scarf loosely tied around your neck. It’ll complement your outfit and you’ll look really elegant. In Paris everybody wears a scarf due to windy weather, usually one with a discreet pattern, even when it’s hot. Voila! Instant chic.
4. Take up smoking. Seriously. The French do enjoy their cigarettes, the operative word being ‘’enjoy,’’ which means that they don’t chain smoke them, they simply have a cigarette or two with a cup of café noisette, savoring their combined taste, and then maybe they’ll have a few more in the evening at a soiree with a glass of wine.
After seeing one too many Parsiennes indulging in their little nicotine vice, I have to say there is something in the way they smoke them: They would gently purse their lips in a coquettish little pout and just puff the smoke out. I think that’s the real reason why the cigarettes make the French look so friggin’ cool: their main motivation seems to be enjoyment, not nicotine crisis caused by stress.
It’s kind of funny, if you think of it: The entire West is freaking out about lung cancer, plastering ‘’Smoking kills’’ stickers on cigarette packets, whereas the French just sort of shrug and purse their lips into another little pout. And puff the nicotine-laden smoke out.
5. Instead of having a coffee to go, have a coffee to stay. Order a cup of coffee and spend 30 minutes slowly sipping it at a table by the street just by yourself and your thoughts. Savor the flavor. Breathe. If you get bored, watch the people around you. Look at their facial expressions. Look at their body language. Listen to the sound of their voice. Look at the colors they’re wearing. Seriously, what’s the rush? What’s stopping you from slowing down, maybe put ‘’mute’’ on your cell phone and making yourself unavailable to the rest of the world?
(Me patiently waiting for my cafe au lait at a cafe in Paris)
6. Have a mini picnic in the park after work. To tell you the truth, I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it: the Parisiennes would take out a blanket and spread it on one of the stone benches in the park and the take out cheese, and grapes and crackers and then open a bottle of wine in the middle of park for everyone to see. They would then savor their wine in plastic cups, happily chatting with their friends and soaking up the sun.
And that is how the French roll!
How do you roll? Drop me a lineJ