08 July 2009

To learn the art of flâner

flâner [flane] v. intr Se promener sans hâte, au hasard, en s'abandonnant à l'impression et au spectacle du moment

In English, we call the act of flâner "strolling." You walk around with no purpose in mind and you give yourself to the moment at hand. It's almost as if this word was created to describe what you are to do in Paris on a Sunday afternoon. This town is full of various side streets, hidden courtyards, and neighborhood haunts just waiting to be discovered by tourist and resident alike. Just when you think you might have a good idea of what to do in this city, it reveals a little bit more to you. It is by strolling without goal or purpose that you capture the essence that is Paris. This is how you find the empty, fragrant rose gardens and the charming bar à vins where everyone goes to get the latest gossip and a good glass of red. It is one of the cheapest, best activities that you can do here when you live a meager life. There are many a rich person in this city, and there are many tourists who think of only the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and Arc de Triomphe. But if you open your mind and abandon yourself to fate you will find treasures.

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