I've always said, if you're going to order the champagne, then make it French!
I haven't always said that but if I was a person who could afford to, then I would. So because I'm in another country and I can be whoever I want to be, last night I pretended that I was that person and booked myself into the 'diamond section' at The Crazy Horse strip show!
Before I went though, I had to solve my lack of warm clothing issue. I went to every second hand store I could find in search of a warm, cheap, smart coat. Not possible it seems. However I did get a fabulous long black sheepskin number with big big fur around the sleeves and the collar for just forty euros! All synthetic of course but weighs about as much as my doona and just as warm. Also, because it's way too big, it does have a hobo feel going on, but I think that's all the rage at the moment.
One thing that's never the rage is the second hand clothes shop smell and unfortunately my new coat is a stinker. To take it into the diamond seating league, I hosed it down with my Chanel Mademoiselle perfume. Now teamed with my new Paris shoes and a fancy dress, I was ready to step out into the night!
It took a while to not be self conscious about looking like a homeless person with great shoes, but I took comfort in the fact that I was not going to cry tonight from cold-ness. I pictured myself in a scene from a French film as a walked across the Seine and focused on the glamorous night ahead.
And it was glamorous! And I felt glamorous, from the moment I was greeted at the door of The Crazy Horse and personally escorted to my own private booth, with my own bottle of champagne on ice, with the best view in the house!
It did fall apart a little bit at the cloak room, where a few bits of the coat broke off, but it was quickly forgotten I think. Also, the Chanel perfume was not the solution to the musty smell. As I handed the lady the coat, I cringed at the now very very very sweet musty aroma evaporating off all my clothes.
But once I was settled into my little nook and had time to take in the buzz of anticipation in this 'oh so French!' cabaret lounge (and a few glasses of the bad champagne), all was forgotten.
It doesn't take long for me to get a bit chatty on the cheap stuff, so before the show started I had hauled in a local French girl, her visiting girlfriend from Melbourne and an Estonian cruise ship entertainment producer, who I insisted share my booth with me because her seat was small and measly and obviously not of the diamond variety.
The show was incredible! Classy and exciting and extravagant. Minimal sets and costumes (obviously) but with such spectacular lighting that it felt like a million dollar show... and the ladies were beautiful. They were svelte and porcelain and raunchy.
The sexy vignettes were broken up by a juggling act where two men stripped down to their jocks while hurling enormous bowling pins at each other. Then they dressed again in each other's clothes, still hurling, without ever dropping a pin. The crowd went wild! ...or maybe just me. Regardless, brilliant!
It was cruel to have to leave. My new friends all went home at the end of the show so I felt a little deflated. As I headed towards the cloak room I wondered how I might take some of the night's excitement home with me. I visited the gift shop on the way out and bought two lighters, a pen with a naked girl on it and two sets of 'nippies' (glittery patches that you stick on your nipples)... not really what I was after though.
I snuggled into my stinky coat and walked through the busy Paris night in my new shoes. When I stopped concentrating on manoeuvring around the cobblestones, I looked up and saw the Eiffel Tower, all lit up, just like the stage at The Crazy Horse.
Right next to me on the sidewalk was a little table and chair sitting under a heater. I sat in it, ordered a glass of very nice champagne, a huge slab of terrine with baguette and watched the tower.
I felt very glamorous.