The greatest “Treasure of France” for me, are the French people.(and isn’t that true wherever you go?) It’s the people that make the place. And the French people have made France a place of genuine hospitality.
And, no, contrary to popular folklore, they’re not arrogant.The word is – Proud. And with good reason. Neither are they bland. They love ya – or they hate ya. No “gee – I guess they’re ok.” Which is what I especially love. I hate mediocre! “Maybes” just waste your time. “Yes” or “No” – equally desirable. For the same reason.”Yes” means “Come on in.” “No” means “Knock on another door.”
As you might expect there is a (sometimes)unspoken rivalry between city and country French.(Happily not as extreme as the Montagues and the Capulets) The mantra of the country froggies is that city folk are cold, distant, speedy,money grubbers,disconnected from reality and “the right values.”(ie -theirs)The city dwellers response, while overtly complimentary, is delivered in the same tone you might adopt explaining Television to a cave man.
Once, discussing Photography with country froggies, I described Eugene Atget’s Classic book – “A Vision of Paris.” Which is composed completely of night scenes of deserted streets.Their comment : ” Paris, sans Parisiens…quelle reve! (Paris without Parisiens…What a dream!)
That said, my welcome in Paris has been equal in warmth and friendliness to my country encounters. And although I am travelling by bike on the home turf of the World’s most celebrated bike race, I’m willing to bet(at least one glass of wine)your experience will be the same.
UNLESS…You are in a store “just looking.”(ie – wallet closed) Then, you will be zapped with a zillion watts of pouty distain. And should you be foolish enough to attempt a question, their(much superior to you)reply will be something on the order of : “Excuse-a-moi, mais votre accent c’est tres tres bizzzzzzzzaire.” As they turn and offer you a V.I.P. view of their backside.
Ready to experience Paris Now?
THROW ME A BONE HERE, PEOPLE!
What are ya thinkin’?