Tuesday - Big meet and greet dinner @ Alain Ducasse’ restaurant Plaza Athenee. One of the most prestigious chefs in the world will cook for us, Ducasse himself. Dress nice, leave a good impression and enjoy, you are in Paris now. Be there at 8.
I was excited because of my Paris event. This was the perfect chance to meet people and not be alone in the city everyday for the rest of my life – well, maybe that was a little exaggerated. Plus, who wouldn’t be excited about such a promising dinner? I often thought of throwing a great dinner party and hiring Ducasse but never actually went through with the idea.
As I first walked in, I realized I didn’t know anyone in Paris yet. I looked around the room and spotted a blonde girl greeting most people that walked by. I figured I could introduce myself to her.
“Hey, I’m Lin” I said smiling and stretching hands.
“Hi, Lin. Nice to meet you. I’m Sylvanne. Are you new here? I’d never seen you before”
“Actually I am! I’ve just moved in here because of work”
“Well, a work that makes you move to Paris must be a good one. Where do you work at? “She said nicely. I was surprised and happy that someone was interested or faking interest in me.
“I’m the creative director of my mom’s label, Kiew Wang” I said proudly; it felt great and at the same time weird to say it. I still wasn’t accustomed to it. “I’m Lin-Lin Wang” I added, just in case.
“Oh my god, I love your mother’s designs! So, how has Paris treated you so far?”
“It’s been amazing” I answered excited “I still have a lot of places to discover and the streets are so confusing! I need to get a guide asap”
“I could show you the city if we find some spare time” she offered kindly.
"That would be great!" I accepted happily.
"I trust you have been to Paris before?" she asked. Even though it was obvious, maybe my ignorance made her think that.
"Yes, but all those other times I had drivers and someone else, now it’s me" I explained.
"I remember the first time I came to Paris on my own for a summer. It’s the most amazing thing, you won’t regret it" she smiled.
"I hope not.” Of course I didn’t think there was a slight chance that Paris wasn’t the right place for me, but you can never be totally sure about this kind of things. “That is a lovely piece you are wearing" I suddenly noticed. For someone who works in the fashion industry, it sometimes took me a lot of time to pay attention to my interlocutor’s outfit.
"Thanks, its one of the main pieces of my affordable line of jeweller. I’m the best publicity for the line" she advertised and winked, she giggled.
"I wouldn't doubt it"
"Hey, let’s switch numbers. It wouldn't hurt to have a new shopping friend, especially when her mom is so talented” we exchanged phones, each one saving our numbers on the other one’s mobile. "Text me, and we'll get brunch and a trip down Le Champs?" she proposed.
"Yes, sounds great, I will" I agreed happily and we both said goodbye.
“You must be Lin-Lin Wang, right?” a voice behind me said. I turned to see a beautiful blue eyed brunette whose face sounded familiar but I couldn’t figure out who exactly did her reminded me to.
“Yes, I am. How did you know?” I said full of joy for the recognition.
“I internship at Vogue and I’m trying to make things right by knowing everyone I should. I’m Mia by the way”
“Oh, you must be Gemma Watkins daughter!” I suddenly realized, especially after hearing she worked at Vogue “You look a lot like her. Nice to meet you”
“Excuse me, ladies” a waiter interrupted “Dinner will be served in any minutes so if you tell me your names I’ll show you your table”
Mia was sent to la troisième table and we said goodbye, promising we’d hang out one day. While I was left alone, I attempted to check the time on my watch – it was a little tick of mine, I used to that when I didn’t know what to do. When instead of my Rolex I saw a naked wrist, I remembered I had left my watch at home because of the time difference. And just when I thought I had passed the embarrassment without anyone noticing, I heard a chuckle next to me.
“Oh my god, what’s so interesting about that?” he said grabbing my arm and faking interest.
“Shut up” I laughed, moving my arm away from his hands. “I forgot my watch, ok? You could make yourself useful and tell me the time now”
I really saw his face for the first time when he was looking for his phone in his pockets. He was quite alright, I had to admit.
“It’s 8:30 p.m. Now you owe me”
“Excuse me?” I raised my eyebrows “Did checking out the time represent a lot of effort to you?”
“Well…” He started to say, but some gorgeous girl stopped him.
“Shut up, Andrew.” I realized we hadn’t exchanged names until then “Is he bothering you? He usually does that” I was a little confused. Who was she? Who was him? I suddenly found myself in a conversation with two strangers where, in reality, the only stranger there was I. “I’m Caroline, Drew’s not-so-older sister” she chuckled. They had the same smile.
“Hi, I’m Lin. Nice to meet you.” We shook hands.
“Hey, Lin.” Andrew said kissing the same hand that has previously started our conversation. Her sister rolled her eyes.
“Anyway,” she said, ignoring him “I love your outfit”
“I love yours!” I exclaimed, noticing it for the first time – I was way too confused to notice anything before.
The waiter came again and showed us our respective tables. The siblings went to a table that I later found out it was for royalty and I went to one for the fashion related people. Apparently, the waiter had made a mistake and I was with Mia after all. ‘How silly to divide people by its work’ I first thought to myself. But at the end of the night I realized that it made a lot of sense. We all had two main interests in common: fashion and the delicious food we were eating.
I sat between Mia and a new girl a met there, Volumnia Elphinstone.
“Hi, I’m Volumina. What’s your name?” as soon as I heard that Russian accent pronouncing such a unique name, I knew I had to talk to her.
We spent the whole night talking, eating and enjoying ourselves. I was very interested in our conversation but I still couldn’t help to look at Andrew, two tables away from me, from time to time. I could see him looking at me too. I couldn’t decide if it was a good or a bad thing. But, regardless what it meant, my first night out in Paris was amazing.
added a part done in collaboration with @priscilla