Out of the three, Paris was my favorite by far. Alex told me he knew a girl who lived in the city (a girl he met on Tinder haha). I was excited to meet her.

On our first day in the city, we got on a bus to do all the classic tourist attractions in the city. Our bus made a pitstop in Trocadero square where we had time to get a coffee or use the bathroom. Alex and I sat at a cafe and made the decision to break apart from the group and do our own thing. Looking back, the decision would prove to change an arbitrary trip to Europe to one of the best vacations I’ve had.

From the cafe, we took a metro to the Musee D’Orsay. The museum itself was not very large but incredibly beautiful. At one point we got separated and my little lost child in the grocery store anxiety started to kick in as both of our phones were malfunctioning. We found each other eventually.

After the museum, we met up with Eliza at this hamburger place in a really cool part of town (SoHo like). The cheeseburger was maybe top 3 cheeseburgers of all time; I still think about it from time to time when my mind wanders.

I met Eliza, a complete stranger from another side of the world who became one of my closest companions. Our conversation began with her telling me of a business project/app idea she was working on for school called “Headhunters” inspired by the movie “The Imitation Game.” I was already impressed. Her English was fluent and her sarcasm and laugh were infectious. I didn’t know it at the time, but the three of us, Alex, Eliza, and I, would become the close knit coterie I know today.

After the dankery, we walked to the Picasso museum and saw some of the strangest art I’ve seen. Picasso was Alex’s favorite artist so he enjoyed it immensely. I enjoyed a piece on Korean/Japanese colonialism (enjoyed in the sense that I understood the horror that it was).

We then sat at a cafe for two hours or so from daylight to sunset, drinking wine and Pastis. We talked about so many unrelated things and I loved it. I learned that this is what Parisians do: relax at cafes and enjoy each other’s company. I wished that this was a thing people did in the United States, I could see myself doing this for the rest of my days.

Samantha Thach was in Paris at the time and joined us at the cafe. We decided we wanted to watch Moulin Rouge that night. Even though I had already seen it, it was something to do.

I had dinner with Samantha’s family which was nice. After, we got walked to the Moulin Rouge and I met up with Alex and Eliza. Our table was next to the stage. Drinking champagne all night and enjoying the theatrics was a grand time. After the show, we went to another cafe where I had a chance to drink Absinthe. I didn’t experience green fairies which frankly I was a bit disappointed about. We talked about our fears, aspirations, other stuff I would never be able to talk about with the kids back at home.

I think the reason why the three of us got so close in such a short period of time is because we all understood the trip would end and we might not see each other for a while. We could talk about anything without worrying about social consequences or the future — we we’re living in the glorious present. We take for granted our current relationships since the end seems to be infinitely far away. But it will come eventually — I’m a shitty person to be friends with.

Alex and I were not woken up and the rest of the group left without us. We met up with Eliza at a cafe in Trocadero and had some DANK food. We walked to the Louvre. The air was warm, the breeze whisked our faces sparingly. The Seine glistened and the sky was blue.

We didn’t get a chance to actually go inside the Louvre which I didn’t mind. Instead, Eliza took us to Montmatre, a large hill with a breath taking view of the entire city. We sat at a cafe, drank wine and pear liquor, and talked about carrying on our parent’s legacy/happiness for hours.

Eliza took us to a bar which only served drinks in baby bottles nipples and all. We then went to a club which was crowded predominantly by teens 17–22. There was a midget with a mask who sprayed us with foam.

Dinner was at Relais d l’Entrecote which had a preset menu of steak and fries (DANK). We drew on the placemats with blue crayons. My word for hangman was “PLATONIC” which Eliza guessed instantly. We talked about if being best friends with the opposite sex was possible. She came to mind.