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What more can be written about Paris that has not already been written? City of Lights, of Love, of the Lost Generation of Stein, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald. Opera setting for La Boheme.

Nevertheless, I’ll try to add a few:

Rude Parisians? Perhaps it’s you.

I’d been to Paris several times before I was clued in on a simple lesson in manners. When you enter a shop, be sure to say ‘bon jour’ to the people who work there. In a small shop, it is likely to be the owner. Merchants treat their business like you would your home and you wouldn’t want someone to enter your place of residence without acknowledging you. If you want to take a picture in the shop, ask permission. Remember, it’s like your home.

Why am I the Only Person in this Restaurant?

In the finer restaurants, you may need to book a reservation days in advance, only to find you are the first or second party there. In Paris, as in a few places in the US, the owners space reservations apart by fifteen minutes. This timing allows the full attention of the wait staff and the sommelier on you for an unrushed experience. Before you leave, every table will be full.

Those People on Segways Look Silly

Yes they do, but don’t dismiss joining them. If you have not explored the major sites of Paris before, joining a Segway tour gets you about in an expedited manner through places you would have to walk. Take one, then revisited your favorite sites when you can.

There’s much more to say about Paris, but that is for another time.

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Jackson Coppley

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