Stereotypes are a funny thing. They stick with you for a really long time. I was in France about eight years ago and with the exception of one boorish waiter in a bistro, all the encounters we had with people in France were really good ones. They were polite, tolerant of my crummy French pronunciation and a generally warm bunch. It was the same on our visit to Paris this weekend. We didn’t encounter one rude Parisian. Not one.
So, I’m wondering why they ever got the reputation. It can’t be that we just interacted with the nice ones. My guess is they may just be getting a bum rap. As an American in Europe, I’m used to stereotypes and even a few bum raps. I guess there are plenty to go around.
So, the trip was better than I had hoped. Little NH was completely cooperative and tolerant of two-hour lunches and fell in love with chocolate croissants and Nutella crêpes. Heck, she even stole the dark chocolate squares off of my espresso saucers by the end of the trip. The weather was sunny or rainy, depending on which five-minute span you were in. April showers, you know. The food was really, really great and the wine was subtle and completely delicious. Our pace was casual and relaxed. We just sort of went with the flow of the city and managed to take in most everything.
I now have a nice little pillow of crème brûlée inspired blubber around my waist. It’s a nice reminder of three nights in France.
They say Paris is beautiful in the springtime. I guess at least some stereotypes are correct.