European Tour – Day 9

22nd April

We started a little early at around 7.30 am for our Paris trip which is almost 700 kms away. Reached the border by 8.30 am and then stopped for the break by 9.30 am and a lunch break at 12 pm near Burgundy. We had to pass through beautiful landscapes (plains), a few castles etc.  When we reached the Peripheral ring road of Paris, that is when the nightmare starts. Gosh, the traffic…the worst traffic so far. Being Paris and all. The hotel was not located in the center but a little on the other side, but very near to the Seine River though, so it took quite a long while for us to reach there. Not only the traffic, but the diversions that were put up, we were driving in circles to really get to the small road where the hotel was located. Good to see that its just not India that has the ‘take diversion’ signs ;). We reached the hotel finally, seeing the Eiffel tower, the Victory Arch etc on the way, at around 5 pm and since we had a cabaret show by 8 pm we had only an hour to get ready so that we can get out by 6.30 pm.
I was first skeptical about the show. Some people did not join us, because they wanted to go shopping or they had own reservations in other cabaret show on their own. But since they were families with kids who were going, I was feeling little better. But still I was a little worried. We were asked to dress up for the event, I wasn’t sure why and anyways I did not have a dress , as they call it. As usual I was in my jeans and t-shirt. We were there at Lido after driving through that awful traffic. Wow, it was all glittery and when we stepped inside by 7.30 pm that is when I really realized why they asked us to dress up. It was like walking the red carpet and sitting in a Hollywood award show. Gosh, those chandeliers, the stage, the candlelight’s. I started to wonder where I was.. this was supposed to be a cabaret show. I read in the pamphlet they gave us that it has stunts and its like any musical show, but the stage and stuff like it , it looked so surreal and I looked so out of place. And to top it all, there was this lady with such a silky voice singing some English song with a full cut dress and all, I couldn’t help but suppress a laugh because never did I dream to see all this stuff in real life J I sure did pay for it, but never expected this level of sophistication and y’all know what, we got the left tables near to the stage to top it all. So we were up and close…We were not supposed to take photos or record anything there and so I did not, not because no one did that, but I felt that I should give them that much respect for all that I am experiencing. The lady was singing for a couple of songs more and then by 8 pm, they announced that the show will be beginning and we were provided with our champagne (you can choose any juice or soda instead, but since I was going all the way today, I decided to taste champagne too….)
Then suddenly the seats looked like it is moving down, but actually the stage started to get elevated and there it was. It lasted for almost 2.5 hrs ending it at 10.45 pm. It consisted of different levels, including the coming up of an Indian Temple with dancers dressed like the bronzed statues and doing some Indianized  steps too, along with some wondering ice skating based performance. We also had a comedy show in between involving the viewers too. There was another performance by a guy and it was so awesome (I don’t know the name of the act though…what do we call the act where a guy uses a doll and uses his own voice to talk like the doll and makes it interactive? It was something like that except that it was a mute show and it was related to statues and it was uber cool). The interesting part, the number of Indians and maami’s and behanji’s who showed up for the show. It had its share of skin show (but only by the female. Don’t get me wrong, I am so glad for that. But it felt a little sexist that is all, but then I shouldn’t have even been there shouldn’t I?) Some of the girls were so thin, I was so feeling bad for them, and wanted to feed them. For them its just another job, coz I could see a quite a few of them talking as part of the show to their partners and exchanging pleasantries. But the choreography is very nice with almost 600 costumes and so many change of clothes and the stage changes and acts. There was this woman who did the singing for most of the part and boy! was she beautiful and gorgeous. It was different to watch it. I did not feel embarrassed at all since there was any blatant skin show or anything like that. Some of them were so aesthetically done, it kinda felt nice.
The champagne was like an apple fizz drink, and I kind of liked it. Guess I do have some costly tastes JI invariably thought of my mom because she used to say that as a kid I always had only apple or grapes for fruits (which were obviously very costly…no other fruits will do for me J). I am definitely not going for it again on my own but it was nice to know that I appreciated it.  We came back by 11.40 pm or so and soon fell asleep.

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