quatorze juillet – french memories

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!

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2 Responses to “quatorze juillet – french memories”

  1. Barry Mañana Says:

    Paris has always been a bit tarnished around the edges – though it has cleaned up its act over the years – you no longer have to wade through the carpet of Parisian dog poo anymore!
    It’s ‘frayed edges’ are part of its charm – much more preferable to somewhere like ‘new’ Singapore, where everything seems hermetically sealed and regulated!

  2. the bizzle in the pizzle Says:

    i wouldn’t know – never been to singapore 🙂


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