The wife and I are in Paris today, knocking around the zoo. It's raining, so a slow day, and Carolyn is catching up on a few hours of much-needed sleep while I walk around.
The book store may be dead in America, but it is alive and well in Paris.
The hotel room that once required a room key in a wall fixture to turn on the lights has been replaced by a magnetic card that does the same thing.
Starbucks has made it to France, even if it will never be tolerated in Italy.
The plastic turd bag for dog mess is an idea that does not seem to be widely saluted.
I needed to buy an umbrella this morning, and walked right into a dedicated umbrella shop. I have never even seen one of those before!
Smoking is still a very common pastime here, and there is no such thing as a "no smoking" section. You just deal with it, same as it used to be in the U.S.
To hear tell in some quarters, France is overrun with North Africans, but this seems to be more hyperbole than actuality. France is still French, and a few darker-skinned Frenchmen is not going to change that. France has never been as culturally fragile as it has imagined.
At the end of the day, somewhere between the Pantheon and the Louvre, I had my wallet pick-pocketed. I canceled my credit cards within an hour and a half (as soon as I figured it out) but they had already tried to use American Express in two locations. I lost about 70 euros plus my drivers license and insurance cards. I have not lost a wallet in 30 years. Truly pissed off. The credit card folks were excellent about it.