When hit with a mid-life crisis, most people buy a new car, expensive bling or get Botox. But Sharon Au uprooted and moved to Paris in March for a reboot. “I think I was facing a mid-life crisis that I suddenly resigned from such a stable and well-paid job in Singapore!” she says. “I was in my comfort zone at work where after many years, I had built up a certain level of respect and status.”
So there you have it, all you conspiracy theorists who thought Sharon’s major decision to move to Paris was ’cos she’s “sick and dying”. The 43-year-old is very much #aliveandkicking, as she’s been hashtagging recently on her IG posts to refute those rumours. The former Ch 8 host was planning to go on a one-year sabbatical in Paris. But after a mere three months living the crazy romantic Parisian life, the self-confessed workaholic clinched a job at an international private equity firm there, and is currently awaiting the approval for a long-stay visa for France.
But Sharon is no stranger to Paris, having visited countless times, including a two-month stay during a winter exchange programme in 2008 when she was a student at a Japanese university — and speaks French fluently. In fact, she didn’t just fall in love with the City of Love, she’s fallen in lurve there as well (more on that later). Now, that’s as Parisian as it gets, right?
It may be too early to tell but Paris just might be the country that Sharon finds her next love as she confesses to having her fair share of almost-romantic encounters over there. “It’s not like I’m exceptionally beautiful, but you know, I’m also not bad-looking, right? (Laughs) And I always walk into a café alone and take out my journal and write, so I guess I look very lonesome. So I did have a lot of people, time after time, approaching me with good intentions. Sometimes, they’re good looking, and sometimes they’re not. Sometimes, they’re women, and sometimes, they are young enough to be my son,” she says. “Their pick-up lines are very authentic, like ‘Are you a writer?’ or ‘I love your hat.’ This is why a lot of single women from different countries come to Paris thinking they can find love. But I don’t want to find love. So even in a place like Paris where I get approached so often, I’ve never said yes to [a date]. I’m not at the stage of wanting to fall in love yet. But I feel that I’ll be in the future.”
Well, Sharon, we await to hear good news from you. Meanwhile, herewith, Sharon’s quintessential guide to her second home that you may or may not find in a travel guidebook.