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For the past month, from dinner parties to social gatherings, I couldn’t help sharing my experiences in Paris to almost whoever I meet. Friends were left enthralled by the beauty and majesty of the city while others had some of their inaccurate perceptions altered. But two days ago, I learnt something new about Paris and more specifically, what it takes to be a French man.

At a New Year Eve’s gathering at a friend’s place, a Singaporean girl was relating an interesting encounter with a random Parisian man along the Seine River years back, while she was an ex-Singapore Airlines stewardess. While strolling along the peaceful La Seine with her colleague and browsing at one of the sidewalk shops, a male shopkeeper apparently whipped out a rose from nowhere and presented it to her, before complimenting her with endless words of flatter. Courageously, he asked if she would have dinner with him and persisted with this request even after countless “nos”. By now, this girl was just threading the fine line between being impressed and total embarrassment. This determined man even had the audacity to ask the hotel at which she was staying and even the room number; on the pretext that he would call her from the reception when he was ready to take her to dinner! Oh pleaseeeeeee……

Subsequently, he took the hint. But only one one condition will he stop this incessant pester – this girl had to kiss him on the cheek.

(And the audience gives a standing ovation)

So being the nice, accommodating person, she relented by giving this pesky Parisian stranger a quick peck on the cheek. I was surprised that he didn’t turn his cheek away at the opportune moment to catch her lips with his. I suppose an ounce of decency still resided in this man. For all his brazen behaviour, I must say that according to Singaporean standards, this man had guts. Why?

Because I guarantee you that maybe only a handful of Singaporean men would allow their inner passion to take full control of themselves. I honestly don’t think any ‘sane’ local man would surprise a beautiful stranger with a flower, let alone ask for a kiss. Oh fine! I’m one of them.

Well…to a certain extent, a part of me yearns to stop being a rational person and transform into the hot-blooded French male extraordinaire. Sometimes, I do feel that Singaporean men can be a tad too reserved and shy with their words. How many times have I witness male friends whispering to each other about the beauty of a girl in their company. Interestingly, some of these local men would rather allow the opportunity to pass before regretting not complimenting the girl out-rightly. The thought of making the first move scares most of them to near-death.

In a way, in the area of courtship, a Singaporean man can be seen as sincere and careful. Although we may be stingy with our words, we tend to be generous with niceties when we mean them when we say them. Conversely, the bold actions of that French man may seem to be a tad superficial. Would an explicit form of courtship result in a serious relationship or is the man only interested in a one-night stand? I would never know but for now, it is time to compliment the beautiful women around me, starting with my friends 🙂

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