i set foot in paris very late in my life. just a few flashbacks.
the first bar, on a central boulevard, early in the afternoon. i entered with a friend, just for a cup of coffee. we two were the only white people there.
i saw for the first time in my life a manager of a regional branch of a multinational wearing a shirt with the cuffs visibly torn, and in a suspect state of cleanliness.
at 2 a.m., in a bistro near la madeleine i discovered the local habit of throwing the consumed cigarettes directly on the floor. it was before the anti-smoking laws. it has something to do with an older law prohibiting the ashtrays on the bar counters, or something like that. at 10 a.m., in a busy business area, i noticed no one had a problem having their croissants with the layer of crushed filters and ash up to their ankles.
a waiter crossed the street to have a 500 euros note checked at the bank.
the turnstiles at the subway had many stacked bars, up to a height of 6 or 7 feet. it didn’t stop a young maghrebian to push back an old lady on her way out, and pass in reverse direction.
for images, the louvre, the eiffel tower, notre dame, etc. – see the 1,000,000 tourist sites and travel blogs. vive la france!