Stuff I Learned In Paris


As I may have mentioned, we were recently in Paris (brag, brag) and after several days of keen observation, I’ve discovered a few things that are indicative of French culture.  This is boots-on-the-ground information that isn’t available on any website or in the guidebooks.  So, as a public service, I’m going to pass it on to you

Even a couple of old people can outmaneuver the “Yellow Vests” protesters (and the teargas) if they keep their noses in the wind and an eye on the cops to see which way they’re running.

When a Paris policewoman says “Attendez!” you better “attendez” right now — they don’t carry those little black clubs for nothing.

Parisian pedestrians are fearless.  They treat traffic signals as mere suggestions and oncoming cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and those little, green hell-on-two-wheels scooters as some kinda personal challenge.

The Musee D’Orsay has been turned into a living piece of Installation Art where foreigners wander around, holding their telephones over their heads.  It’s an interesting concept, but I don’t see the point.  Oh!  And apparently, they have some paintings on the walls, too, but you can’t actually see them.

Fashion Week is a scam.  You can get all the Red Carpet you need by sitting in a sidewalk café with a glass of wine.

French clothes fit.  French women’s clothes fit very well.

The only thing more romantic than a warm Parisian afternoon is a wool-scarf chilly Parisian evening.

French people have sexy hardwired into their DNA.

There’s an established rumour that French waiters are surly, arrogant and rude.  Oddly enough, none of the ones we met got that memo.

French bread is the best in the world.  And (little known fact) if you eat in a French restaurant, they have to, by law, provide you with free bread.  Apparently, this has something to do with that nasty “Let them eat cake” business.

And finally:

The all-night cultural event, Nuit Blanche, proved to me — once and for all — I’m not as young as I used to be.

Paris 2019


We’re in Paris.  The clouds threaten rain and the unions a General Strike: c’est le vie!  I love Paris.  It sings.  It dances.  It laughs.  And it has an unconscious cool that I always hope is contagious.  Plus, it’s Fashion Week – the World Cup of Who’s Wearing What.  No, we’re not going to be sitting in the cheap seats, looking for celebs; we have other things to do.  Things like the cemetery at Montparnasse to lay a pen on Baudelaire’s grave (we promised) the Luxemburg Gardens for the puppet show, and a glass of wine and a few tears across the river from Notre Dame.  But mostly, we’re just going to hang out – try and catch the rhythm of a Parisian lunch, stroll the boulevards and maybe have one too many glasses of wine in some café somewhere.

But I said all this to say this space may suffer.  Between the time change, the Wi-Fi, the food, the wine and the unavoidable fact that I’m no travel writer, the next few weeks at WDFYFE.NET are going to be hit-and- miss, so please have patience.  Anyway, I’ll try my best to … Just a sec! … “Bonjour, deux verres de vin rouge, s’il vous plait.” … See what I mean?  In Paris, life intervenes.  C’est le vie!