Really, how does Mrs Funnybones manage it all? We all know how much work it takes to be a stay-at-home mother, but Twinkle Khanna is also a full-time commentator on the vagaries of contemporary India through her social media handle. She has a book out and writes columns for a number of publications. Phew!
If anyone needs a vacation, it’s Twinkle Khanna. Her recent posts on social media from her short French holiday had many craving for a similar privilege. Here’s what it feels like to be Twinkle Khanna on a French holiday:
Q. You seem to have had a great time In France. Tell us honestly, did you miss your husband and kids at all?
Twinkle: Not for the first two days to be honest. But after that, yes, I was missing my kids. I would keep reminding myself that I am going on a vacation again with them after returning from Paris. But then yes, I did buy cute stuff for my little one. Every time I saw little French kids in the market or cafes, it reminded me of my daughter and son back home.
Q. Are you comfortable with French?
Twinkle: The fact that I stayed at an Airbnb accommodation gave me a sense of being part of the community. I would take these walks to the local grocery stores. Even though I couldn’t speak the language, I would try and make these animated hand gestures to give them a sense of what I needed or what I am looking for. For eg, I walked into a poultry shop asking for chicken and I had to make these weird hand movements indicating a bird. All these experiences make your travel interesting. What happens at a hotel is that everything is streamlined and sterilized. In a way it does not move you out of your comfort zone and it limits your experience.
Q. Do you speak better French now?
Twinkle: Oh god, my French pronunciations suck. I learnt how to say Holy cow in French which is an important word to know in France. It’s called Oh, la vache! I was basically trying to speak in broken French. Like I went for a massage one day, and I kept trying to tell my masseuse that my neck hurts quite often so I needed her to put more pressure while being gentle and she kept thinking that I meant I am in pain and went all soft. So there were times when It felt like #facepalm.
Q. What about the French you found fascinating?
Twinkle: The French are really different from us. Their inherent sense of style is worth emulating. Apart from that I don’t look at people from a race point of view . We all have our own strengths and follies. I definitely do now know that a lot of French people refuse to speak English in spite of knowing the language and especially after breakfast. It was actually amusing that they wouldn’t make the effort to speak a language other than their own after their first meal of the day.
Q. So what are the things you would recommend to someone who is planning a Parisian holiday?
Twinkle: I didn’t quite enjoy eating macaroons before this trip. But now I am hooked on to it because we discovered this awesome place that makes the most heavenly macaroons. I binged on quite a few of them during my stay.
My host had also recommended this place called Monsieur Bleu, which served the most amazing truffle pizza’s and pasta’s. I went all out on that..To the extent that I also wanted to eat eggs with truffle. I was on a truffle binge and there was no looking back.
I am not much of a shopper in terms of fashion per se. But considering I am a bookworm, I went to Shakespeare and company. Now that’s my idea of heaven.
Louvre Palace is one place where I would like to go to when I visit France next . This is also a place where I would like to take my kids to. I think that will be one place where I can get them to look at art without getting bored or restless because the last time I took my kids to the Picasso museum, they asked if Picasso had painted those artworks when he was a kid ? They threw quite a fit there and wanted to leave from there in 7 minutes.
I had an amazing guide, Cedrik who had immense knowledge of art so it was a nice informative tour.
Q. Are you one of those Indian tourists who go abroad and start looking for desi food after a few days?
Twinkle: I don’t crave for Indian food when I am abroad as such. But I do crave for chilies and I love spices. I have an annoying habit of carrying green chilies in a tissue paper in my handbag. I know it sounds terrible but I can’t eat bland food and be happy about it. I have my back up ready.
Q. Do you take solo holidays?
Twinkle: Yes, very much. I had gone to Kerala once for two weeks. To be honest, I got lonely within the first few days itself. But then it also gives you time to find yourself. The motive behind these solo trips is to find yourself and what happens is at the end of the day all you are rather craving for is a cheese burger. So I do take these solo trips. Like I go to Goa all by myself pretty often. Maybe once a year types. I think once in a while you should take time off for yourself because you need to feed your soul. In a way fill your tank up so you have more to give back and don’t feel frustrated when you are back to the grind.
Feature image source: Airbnb