The conversation I overheard while I was at CDG airport convinced me that I simply had to make the most of my youth and of being young in France.
I landed in Paris on the 4th of June, 2006, a Sunday.
It was the first Sunday of the month, and I was in Paris. That meant only one thing for us – free entry to the Louvre!
So, luggage and all, we went straight to the Louvre.
France has always been like that for me. Pack as much as possible, as much as possible, into each minute there. So what if I had spent hours awake, terrified of falling asleep on my co-passenger? So what if I had preferred the beautiful mountains below to the sleep I needed? We went to the Louvre. When would I get the chance again?
Later that evening, when I was exhausted and my head was swimming, I thought I had been hallucinating, but it was true. Out of the blue, I met a classmate of mine in the Louvre. To meet anyone in the Louvre – even when you know that person is there – is unlikely. Meeting someone by chance – impossible! But the thing about fact is that it does not know the meaning of the word ‘impossible’.
In a dream-like state, perhaps best suited to experiencing ageless art, we wandered around.
We looked at all kinds of things, learning about Napoleon and Napoleon III. The diligent student that I was, I had read up about a few painters like Ruisdael and Claude Lorrain before going to France, so I felt more excitement than usual when I saw their timeless paintings. A little sleep-deprived, we wandered into the section with the sculptures, and dutifully admired Venus de Milo.
And then we rushed to see David’s paintings, and our precious “Coronation of Napoleon“.
Our hearts were filled. We had made the most of day one of my stay in France. Time to give in to overwhelming Sleep. Many more days lay ahead of us, days during which we had to make the most of every minute. Before that, it was time to meet Morpheus.