What could be better than celebrating the day of love in the city of love itself? Just kidding. I know there are a lot of things better. But it was our first time and we were all feeling touristy. Who cares? It was also our anniversary. Though we wanted to make it more intimate, just the two of us traveling, traveling with friends was also fun. Our excitement paralleled their giddiness. Then I saw the famous Eiffel Tower. I once thought as a child how beautiful this iron tower was in France. Or rather how charming it was. But when I saw it in person I realized it was absolutely not attractive at all. It was rusty. At daytime you can see all its flaws. It was dull. But nevertheless it was all so bewitching. The more I think about it, the more I realize it is not its beauty people admire when they get to see the Eiffel Tower. It is the feeling of being really there right in front of it that people want. You know, it is not the Eiffel Tower that is beautiful. It is seeing it that is overwhelming. That was only a hyperbole. It was not overwhelming. Although it was in a way satisfying. It just stood there, atop all of Paris. You will take a glance from afar, or you may look at it right at its foot. Any view will suffice. As if the Tower was not enough, we also went to Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris, also famous for its lovelocks which are copycatted and remade all over the world. We did not have a romantic dinner in a fancy restaurant. Nor did beau buy a bunch of flowers for me. I did not expect it anyway. We did not do the cliché things lovers do on Valentine’s Day. We only did the cliché thing lovers do when they go to Paris — do the ritual of love locking.
When we returned, beau confessed that he was planning to buy flowers all the time we were in Paris. But he found none. He was a bit surprised that he did not saw people carrying bouquets or balloons. We did not even saw proposals made at the foot of the Eiffel.
I told him maybe Paris does not require cheesy things like those. It could be that we weren’t observant enough. I don’t really know. Maybe people are just being subtle. Or perhaps they don’t need to. But ours was adequately romantic. Because just like the Eiffel, a not so lovely edifice but is well-favored in its own way, being in Paris on Valentine’s Day is enough celebration in itself.