Today is the 322nd day of the year
(so, only 43 more to go)
Frank Zappa once said:
I think that if a person doesn't feel cynical then they're out of phase with the 20th century. Being cynical is the only way to deal with modern civilization, you can't just swallow it whole.
Visited : August 2005, August 2008, August 2009
Everything they say about Paris is true
It's difficult to describe how beatiful a city Paris is. I prefer its wide central streets and order in design to the more organic, higgledy-piggledy feel of London, for example. And you just can't argue with the public architecture. Though you can argue with some of the pushier hawkers up in Montmartre. Even then, the cobbled streets and the walk up to Sacré Cœur are worth the hassle.
The Louvre on its own, and its environs (like the Rue de Rivoli and the PLace de la Concorde) and things of beauty in themselves. As was the very nice Siunday lunch I once enjoyed at the Brasserie du Louvre.
As for the charge that les Parisiens are a haughty, rude buch, all I can say is: mais, non!. Coming home from Eurosdisney with my daughter when she was little, we got of the RER at Nanterre, where we were staying (I know, a bit of a trek...) and came out of the station. Katie was carying a Minnie Mouse balloon, but the string had broken and she was holding onto the balloon itself. As we came through the exit barriers, the balloon came out of her hands and drifited up to the ceiling, which was about 12 feet up. She was heartbroken. However, a ticket inspector saw this, and stopped us. He told us to wait, and then set about trying to retrieve the balloon, by standing on a chair. No luck. He then got two other staff incvoled trying to grab it, but still to no avail. Suddenly, another guy appeared, whose shift (I'm guessing) was about to start. When he arrived, he went off to a janitor's cupaord and came back with a long-handled net-thing, which he eventaully used to grab the balloon. Then they dfisappeared for a couple of seconds and even put some new string for her. Cue one beaming little girl, and one effusively thankful Dad. But this wasn't the only example of polite and friendly Parisian behaviour I saw. Perhaps it was because I was with my daughter; who can say? All I know is that I don't quite buy the rude Parisian steroetype, especially if propagataed by Londoners wgo think that making eye contact and smiling on a Tube is a sign of weeakness