We are walking the streets of Paris and the citizens of this fair city look at me and sniff down their long aristocratic noses. They regard me as they would an annoying particle of food stuck in their teeth. There are a lot of long-legged skinny women in this city wearing jaunty scarves and leather boots with patterned stockings and they get the lingering looks and men part on the sidewalks to let them through. I have to fight for every foot of space and I still get tossed into the bike lane. Paris loves only the beautiful, not the cute and feisty.
It requires grande courage to walk the avenues of Paris. Cars squeal their tires when encountering a red light and they are pissed these stupid pedestrians need to cross a street. They rev their motors like snarling animals and inch forward attempting to claim your space. Even though you have a green light the driver can pass through the intersection if he deems it safe to do so. Safe is defined as you being mere inches away from his front bumper. And don't even get me started on the motorbikes.
Our hostel window overlooks several shops run by swarthy cigar-smoking men wearing large sparkly rings and their wares consist of bolts of brightly embroidered fabric. In the alley I can see three citizens happily passing around a bottle of Jack Daniels at this nine o'clock morning hour. The guide book said the French do not drink to excess but evidently these guys did not get the memo. I briefly think about joining them but then - eh - just brushed my teeth.
The French generate a lot of garbage, so much that trucks prowl the streets every night removing it. Part of the problem might be the city trash containers overflowing with wine bottles. It should be noted there are recycle bins on the street the size of Volkswagens specifically designed for those wine bottles and yet it's not enough.
And then there's the dog poop, 16 tons of it comes out of those little French puppies every day and yes, someone took the time to measure it and report it in a guide book. Their owners must think it adds to the charm of Parisian streets because there it sits waiting for me and my flip-flops to discover.
We dine at a Tibetan restaurant. I always liked that Dalai Lama guy and have loads of respect for his philosophy and all that is Buddhist although I never could get the hang of that meditation thing. And wouldn't you agree that if you put a suit on this guy he would look like your fourth grade teacher?