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Monday 19th January 2004

I arrived in Paris this afternoon as tomorrow night is the world premiere of the French version of “Talking Cock”, which those cheeky Gauls have entitled “Qu’est-ce que sexe?”
Although Paris has a reputation for having the most beautiful and fashionable women in the world, I was not expecting to have this pleasant stereotype confirmed quite so quickly. The hotel I was staying in was a few miles away, so I jumped into a cab which was being driven by what I can confidently claim to be the most beautiful taxi-driver I have ever seen. Not only did she buck the cabbie trend by being slim and not bald, she also had no pastry crumbs covering her torso and was wearing a very chic fake-fur trimmed coat. Unlike the drivers I am used to in the UK she did not smell of stale farts or dried sweat and urine, nor of Lambert and Butler cigarettes, but the sweet odour of some sophisticated Parisian perfume filled the car. What a wondrous city this is where supermodels drive cabs in their spare time. I was very tempted to ask her to marry me immediately, but I checked myself. This was only my first cab in Paris; this high cheek-boned goddess might be plain compared to the other women conveying tourists around the city. I should bide my time and wait to choose only the most sublime taxi driver to be my bride.
But as the journey continued I was tempted to take a chance on this woman; she was fantastique. She laughed and cursed the other drivers and complained about the traffic getting in her way, (as far as I could understand: partly due to my poor grasp of the French language and partly because I was so entranced by her sexy accent that I was unable to decipher any of the specific words) and would occasionally catch me staring at her dark brown eyes in the rear-view mirror. She seemed impulsive, amusing and slightly crazy: all the things I look for in a woman. She even attempted to engage me in conversation and I cursed my reluctance to pay attention in my O level French classes. “Pardon, Je ne parle Francais tres bien,” I said, proving my own point rather efficiently. She seemed disappointed, but she wasn’t as disappointed as me.
A car had stopped in the middle of the road and an Asian man was leaning out of the passenger window, filming the traffic with a hand-held camera. My driver banged her horn and laughed at their insanity, “Ah, the Japanese!” she observed in English. I laughed along trying to work out how to ask her to marry me. All I could remember was “voulez vous encouler avec moi, ce soir” which, to be honest, if I couldn’t work out the romantic version was going to be a good second choice.
I considered asking her if sheÂ’d like to come and see the show tomorrow night, but then remembered what the show was about and decided that was probably worse than the encouler option.
Of course, my natural reticence once again prevented me from saying anything and after I had paid her handsomely for her time (a three euro tip, if you donÂ’t mind!) she cruised off into the City of Lovers. I reasoned that if she was interested in me that she at least knew where I was staying. The ball was in her court. I would play hard to get. And anyway, there were other supermodel taxi drivers where she came from.
Funnily enough the other two drivers I encountered today, were not quite as beautiful, considerably more male, smelt of BO and were covered in baguette crumbs and croissant crumbs respectively. What had I let go? In my vanity I had let the only attractive cabbie in the world slip through my fingers. She would have been the perfect wife; not only funny and chic, but able to drive me around for free.
Ah zut!

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