Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Emerald City Is A Red Windmill

The Moulin Rouge was built in 1889 during the flourishing artistic wealth and optimistic grandeur of the Belle Epoque. Managed and co-founded by Charles Zidler, it was a flamboyant attraction known for cabaret, can-can, and courtesans. For some people this flashy house of ill repute remains nothing but a high-priced Vegas-like spectacle, whereas for me, it embodies the Bohemian ideals so magically effused in a little film created by Baz Luhrmann in 2001... Ewan McGregor, Nicole Kidman, Toulouse Lautrec... Who cares how many breasts are dancing around the stage when you can breathe in the beauty, truth, freedom and love pervading the atmosphere.

So, when my Australian chap suggested we plummet even further down the rabbit hole (yeah, mixing fantasy metaphors here... get swept up in a twister?), I couldn't help but be enchanted by the offer. We had spent the previous evening frolicking around Paris, the morning lounging in a Parisian apartment, and the afternoon lunching on bagels before I went off to do some shopping and he engaged in further sight-seeing. While I had had it in my mind to wear the fabulous new red dress I had just recently purchased for the holiday season, I clearly wandered into the store of all stores, Forever 21, and was instantly hypnotized by a fabulous Daisy Buchanan-esque ensemble featuring pink sparkly dress and fluffy white evening coat. Decision made, time to go back to the 20's. 

But before I could wander about the Emerald City, I had to shower, go to work for a couple of hours, and attend my job's holiday dinner. Under normal circumstances, I was very much looking forward to this event, but compared to the fantasy awaiting me afterward, I can't say my attention was so focused on the delicious Moroccan food laid out in front of me. Still, it allowed for some well-needed nourishment, some laughs with my delightful co-workers, and my Australian the opportunity to once again prove his extraordinary gentleman-like powers by picking me up in an Uber to escort me to paradise.

As it was my second time attending this grand soiree, I was not nearly as excited for the actual show as I was for the ambiance... the bucket of champagne, the pageantry of the decor, and of course the eye candy by my side. We were seated practically on the stage, and I snuggled up next to him for the duration. The show itself is equal parts utter absurdity, extraordinary cheese, and impressive acrobatics. We both left very satisfied with the experience and not at all ready to abandon each other's company. Unfortunately, this was about the time when a couple of nights drinking and running on very little sleep began to catch up with me, but I certainly had enough energy for the charms of late night seduction. A girl can learn a thing or two from the Moulin Rouge, to be sure.

The next morning I was awoken as if out of a deeply intoxicating coma and was presented with a fantastic breakfast feast. This man certainly knows how to treat a lady right. Sadly, it was his very last morning in Paris, off to Amsterdam then Ireland before returning to Oz. I escorted him to the metro stop, not entirely escaping the appearance of a day-old courtesan lost on the streets pre-9am, but such is the price you pay for decadence. Perhaps you can't stay in Oz forever if you're not a native. On the other hand, as the memories of the Moulin Rouge, the Australian director's magical reinterpretation, the many sequels of L. Frank Baum, and my undying enthusiasm for Bohemian ideals were dancing around in my head, I had to think... you really just never know what's over the rainbow.

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