The first man to go to Laduree & spurn the macarons. Paris encore. Day 2.

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Walk out of the hotel (@hotelsplendidetoile) to Arc de Triumph. Guided by directions given by the only English speaking gentleman at the bell desk in the evening.

Down the most expensive shopping stretch in the world. Happy in your @curiouscat_co tee.

Refer to Champs Elyse to K as Champa Gulley on WhatsApp. Blame it on the movie Gangubai while she giggles in embarrassment.

Reach Laduree. Stand in a queue as this time, unlike in 2017, you are diabetic and don’t want macarons. Possibly the only person to enter its hallowed portals without wanting one.

Even though your dietician said, ‘have  a good time. You deserve it. You worked so hard.’

You know you can look sweet temptations in the eye and look away.

Bread is your Achilles heel and you are in the city of love and soft bread and belong to the city of naram pav.

Waiting patiently earns you a table by the seat. You place your order and people watch. Just as you did at Flurys at Park Street and Guylian Cafe at Sydney by the Rocks many moons back.

Your order comes. Choice of 4 finger sandwiches.

Your choice: ham, tuna, pastrami and smoked salmon. Baby soft bread. Pastrami was the winner.

You click. Click. Click.

Phone battery dies.

Request the sweet couple at the table next to you for the last two clicks from their phone and they mail it to you before you reach your hotel. The lady praises you on your handwriting. The first person to do so in the 40 odd years since you scrawled your first letters!

Turns out they are from Sydney! What are the chances of that! You chat for half an hour. Knowing that you will remember this more than the sandwiches you had, the macarons they had, and the Paris ka Gateway of India, the arc, that you saw.

That’s what the #finelychoppedtravels have taught you. It’s all about the people you meet when you travel. The rest is window dressing for Instagram. 

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