She sits in a cafe, holding her cigarette between her slender fingers… her mouth in a gentle pout, letting whomever know that while she is not easily pleased, it would be worth it to try.
He strolls the narrow street, hands in his pockets yet with an unmistakable air of confidence. He is in no hurry. He pauses to stare at the lady seated at the corner cafe, enjoying the view. He makes his appreciation known through his eyes. She returns his stare with a half-smile, daring him to come over and try and crack her cold veneer.
The Parisian. To an outsider, they seem rude. Obnoxious. Arrogant. What is missing in this assessment however is the simple understanding of how this city, the reportedly most romantic city in the world, actually works. Paris… synonymous with romance, lovers (both true and illicit), history and the arts. A bohemian chic ambiance that hears your suggestions, yet continues to do as she pleases, making you love her even more. How to bend this city to your will? Simply put, you cannot. In order to truly tap into the undercurrent that runs the capital of France, you need become a master of one small skill: flirtation.
Need something from le garçon in the cafe? Wave him down, surely. But expect nothing unless you accompany that gesture with a tilt of your head and a bat of your eyelashes. How to insure the taxi driver takes you to your destination via the fastest route? Flash a brilliant smile as you hop in. The French are the absolute masters of this game, and they appreciate the effort in trying to play. From the bank, the post office, to the bureaucracy… the best way to get a Parisian to work for you is to charm them into doing so. To a Parisian, this adds that richness in life that tourists but observe, and the joie de vivre which they envy.
Learn to play the game, and you will be surprised at how doors will fall open at your feet in the City of Lights. Allow yourself to get caught up in it, and you may find yourself never wanting to leave.