We'll Always Have Paris
First time I went to paris I was 16 years old. It was my first trip to Europe and my first time venturing out to the fashion world as an international model outside of Israel, my home.
I was so excited and frightened. mostly frightened actually. I think my insecurity was always my biggest obstacle in everything I did. And back then as a little girl with so little self awareness, instead of thinking how lucky I am to get to have this experience of independence and adventure I was already playing scenarios in my head of the obstacles I'm going to face because I was too short for a model and my hair is not long enough and my eyes are not proportionate- you know just like those girls in the magazines. All this was before I even got on that plane. ah those tender years.
I got to paris and was picked up by the agency's driver at the airport, he right away took me to meet my bookers at the agency. I came in, they greeted me, gave me the metro map book, city's map, some euros for transportation, french cellphone and my paper with the day's castings. HUH?! I have never seen a metro in my life, I don't read french or a map for that matter, how does this phone even work and castings?! what castings? I just got here! But I was determined to kick ass so I grabbed my heels, took that metro book and went off on my way. Needless to say I didn't make it to any castings that day because I got lost. oh well.
Going through these situations from a young age really thought me how to get by anywhere and with very little. I truly cherish those days.
That first trip I stayed in Paris for about a month. Everyday was about the same. you get up, get dressed, put on your heels, grab some breakfast and head out for a day of castings. I didn't book any jobs my first time and I was very discouraged. Being a busy model in Israel to arriving to Paris and just sit there- it didn't help my already low self esteem back then. But that time matured me and made me face my own fears. I had no one there and there was no where for me to go but into my own head, it made me stronger.
I will be honest, I didn't like Paris. At all. Yes, the city was magical with all the night lights and the beautiful architecture but I wasn't there as a tourist, I was thrown in there and had 2 days to figure my shit while walking on stone pavements in my heels carrying my gigantic portfolio.
I remember neighbourhoods that stunk of urine and extremely rude people that wouldn't even try to guide you in the right direction if you didn't speak french. But I also remember the small little coffee shops I stopped at to take my heels off in a middle of my days, the quint libraries I found in random parts of town and the oh so effortless chic women I used to watch while waiting for the subway.
Paris introduced me to jazz, flats, Carla Bruni, cigarettes (little hobby I picked up between 16-19) and red wine and for that I will be forever grateful.