Monday, October 12, 2009

Day 6 - Nice

Here are some general observations I've made.

1. There are no old people in Paris.  Seriously... none.  I am not sure what they do with people once they pass 35 or so, but everywhere you go is flooded with people in their 20's, and some children.  I don't think I saw one single person over 45-ish on the metro.

2.  People here are rude.  Paris, Nice, and from what I hear, everywhere in France.  They walk around with absolutely no regard for others, and don't even seem to notice if there is someone already occupying the space they wish to pass through.  No "excuse me", no eye contact, nothing.. just rude, self-absorbed people who have an attitude that no one exists but them.  At first, I would move out of the way if passing someone on the subway or sidewalk or something, to let people by.  As I realized what was going on, I started doing the same thing... completely ignoring the fact that someone may be in your path.  It's actually quite difficult to bring yourself to do -- kind of like playing "chicken" but without the car.  Many times people just bump and move on without acknowledging it at all.  Who raised these people??

3.  Store clerks are completely against human contact.  If you put something on the counter to buy, they will ring it up, tell you how much, and then you are supposed to put the money in this tray on the counter between the two of you.  They then pick up the money, put your change in the tray, and put your purchase in the tray (if it fits).  I STILL haven't got used to this, and I keep forgetting, and handing my money to the clerks and then putting my hand out for change.  This seems to bother them. 

4.  Taxes are included in prices.  If something says it costs 4 euros, that is exactly what you pay.  Then the receipt shows the item amount at, say, 3.90, or whatever, and the amount of tax to bring it to 4 euros. 
This is rather convenient.

5.  Europeans don't seem to drink a lot.  Regular beverages I mean.  Everywhere you go, drinks are very expensive, and you never get free refills.  A glass of coke at a restaurant can be 4-5 euro.  that's $6-7.50!!!  For one glass of soda.  Even at the stores a can is 2 euros.  Menus list the drink section just like the dessert section, and rarely do you see people ordering soda.  If you ask for tap water, you get a pretty little carafe filled with ice cold water.  If you just ask for water, you will probably get bottled water which they charge for.

6.  The Eiffel Tower is very commercial, and not nearly as romantic as you'd think.  At least in the immediate area of it.  It's loud, flashy, blinky, and has a carnival right next to it.  As you approach the area, people start trying to sell you these tacky colorfull bright, rainbow blinky Eiffel Tower statues.  It's much like going to a circus.  From a bit of a distance, however, and once the blinking lights stop, and become solid lights (I am told this is new) it's definitely an amazing site.

7.  Doors and light switches are backwards.  Light switches go down for on, and up for off.   Doors are confusing.  If you'd expect it to pull, it probaby pushes; if you expect to push, usually you need to pull.

8.  They put butter on sandwiches here.

9.  Pariseans are all about PDA and you often see couples kissing quite passionately.

10. Not all pastry is "out of this world" just because it's made in France.  (But some is!!)

that's all for now.

1 comment:

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