Took a cab to the Gare de Lyon this morning. The cab was a sleek black sedan with leather seats and a moon roof. The fare was displayed in the rear view mirror. It was spotless and the cabbie was most proper and polite. There was no front and back seat divider.
Some things in France are very different.
As we say adieu to this place, I offer a collection of random observations:
No idea what school hours are. There are kids on the Metro all the times.
Shopping- why? I have seen nothing here that I cannot buy at home for less. On the other hand, I do think there would be a huge market here for real letter jackets.
The war against creeping anglophoneia has been lost. English was everywhere. Shop signs wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Didn't see any writing on clothing in French. Saw an American Apparel store and other shops promoting their Americaness. The French now do brunch, but they may well think they invented it.
Do not understand the economics of retail. We saw many shops and not a lot of shoppers. The clothing boutiques were of the type that have 3 inches between each hanger and there were hundreds of these shops. We saw niche stores as well, like the one that sold only ribbon or only drapery tassels. How does an art gallery the size of a one car garage pay the rent and have two employees?
Ah, sweet mystery of economics.
Asking for coffee still gets you an espresso, but if you want a big old paper cup, there are Starbucks galore. Given the quantity of patisseries, I must assume no one bakes at home. I wouldn't.
Apparently, the concept of cleaning up after your dog hasn't reached the continent.
Adieu, Paree. Love the TGV.