July 27, 2010

Paris – The Revealing Onion

For every helpful friendly face we saw in Provence, there is a surly, snarly, frowning face working in Paris. It occurs for a number of reasons. Life in Paris is not easy. It is crowded, busy and expensive for everyone, not just tourists. People have to really work to survive which appears to be counter-intuitive to French culture. The great joie de vie that has enthralled the world forever is difficult to maintain when a cafe creme is 4.50 euros. In the morning we smile as we pass by the waiters working in one of the many cafes in our neighborhood. At 9:00pm (or 21:00h) we are waving good night to the same staff.

Yet the allure of Paris continues. For as you meet and interact with Parisians the quality of human caring and dignity is deeply pervasive. On the hot, packed city buses manners reign with an awareness of personal space. I am enthralled with more than the sheer beauty of the city. It is the people. 



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