ParisPics: Les Gens de Paris

The Experienced Travelers salute Les Gens de Paris, the people of Paris who embody la gloire de France in their manner, their customs and their style.  Most Parisians are delighted to separate us from our Found Money so they’re very gracious and kind.  It won’t surprise the Readership to learn that these exchanges often involve food, but that’s the sacrifice we make on your behalf.

Fruit and veg in the rue de Lévis

Day-to-day life in Paris reminds us that the city is a real home, not a Disney production.  In the bloom of my youth,  I rented a bedroom chez Madame A. and it was right above this produce store.

Here, les gens de Paris taught me that The Produce Men will choose on my behalf after they ascertain when I will eat it and how it will be prepared.  To Parisians food is a serious endeavor, even if it’s done on the two-burner camp stove in Madame’s bizarre kitchen.  (Madame A was a truly unique dame de Paris, but thats another story…)

Cheese ladies in uniform

The ETs rely on food shop attendants who take well-earned pride in their vocation.  Even the youngest clerks are knowledgeable and make thoughtful recommendations.  I cross the threshold of cheese, lost and confused, but hopeful.  These smartly attired ladies take me in hand and send me along with a new delicacy that may change my life.

I'm still considering this leather laptop bag. Any advice?

Across the 20 arrondissements of Paris, shop clerks keep the wheels of commerce turning – turning right around the ET’s revolving credit.  Window displays are artful and goods are organized with panache.  How can the ETs resist?

While shopping in the Marais, Melinda and I met a very persuasive saleslady who was drawn into the ET’s retail magnetism. With exceptional vigor, she tried to send a $400 laptop bag home with me.  She demonstrated the strength of the clasps, opened every deep pocket, adjusted the durable strap and illustrated how dashing I would look carrying it around at the Real Job.  It was a performance worthy of the Palme d’or.

In fact, just yesterday Melinda remarked that I should have  bought it – we both remember it well thanks to this sales lady’s hard work.

These kiosks keep news-hungry Parisians prepared for any political debate

The first newspaper in France was published in 1631.  Wikipedia lists 55 French papers available today.  Thus the services of newsagents like this gentilhomme de Paris are part of the fabric of the city.  At a cafe table opposite this kiosk, Nurse and I spent a mesmerizing 20 minutes watching him pack up.   It was so intriguing that we returned again for an encore.  Really, settle in with a glass of wine and watch these Parisians at work –  it’s better than reality TV.

The ETs would be lost without the cafe waiters of Paris

So the ETs salute all the proud people of Paris, without whom we would be thirsty, hungry, confused, and a little bit wealthier.

sous le ciel de paris jusqu’au soir vont chanter
l’hymne d’un peuple épris de sa vieille cité.
(And then people beneath the Parisian sky will sing into the evening
the hymn of the people in love with their old city.)

Melinda invests Found Money at Premier Pression Provence in the Marché des Enfants Rouges


8 Responses to “ParisPics: Les Gens de Paris”

  1. Cafe salute | Iuvotest Says:

    […] ParisPics: Les Gens de Paris « Julie's Paris […]

  2. cynshanil Says:

    You should’ve bought the bag! Do you spend most of your time shopping in Paris?

    • Julie Says:

      Oh Cynshanil, I am still thinking of the bag. Do you think I should go back and get it? I do! We shop carefully in Paris – we buy a few nice things that we will use over and over. And when we’re not shopping, we’re eating. What a perfect way to be! Thanks for your comment.

  3. Joanne Says:

    Clerks everywhere salute you!

  4. Ann Mason Says:

    what Joann said

  5. Travel Tours Says:

    I’m having a tiny problem I can’t seem to be able to subscribe your feed, I’m using google reader by the way.
    My site is about Travel Tips.

    • Julie Says:

      Hi there — try to subscribe again – I checked the settings and they should work with Google reader. Sorry for the hassle!

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