I've been to some other French-speaking parts of the world, which shall remain nameless, where they mock your attempts to speak French among them by immediately replying to you in English. Not so in Paris. Here, with my sad attempts at French communication, I am treated with dignity and respect.
Je suis quelqu'un!
My immediate impression of Paris upon first stepping out into it this morning, from the luxurious flat my Mom and I arrived in late last night, was that it is much cleaner and more authentic than I'd expected. To pick up some tomatoes, bread, cheese and salami for brunch I needed to visit four different shops: the formagarie, the bakery, etc. How utterly charming and reaffirming. While I was able to put at least two of the four shopkeeps I'd visited into a grump over my not knowing the ettiquette of the French customer, I still walked away feeling the love that gives this city its romantic reputation. Love oozes out of every element and aspect of Paris... even, as it were, the air, despite its pelting us with rain from high atop the city in the Eiffel Tower this evening. The view of Paris from above at night is flawless.
I leave tomorrow night on the Eurostar for London, while my Mother remains until Monday morning. I have a leaving do to attend (apparantly I'm leaving the country in less than two weeks), which I hear is going to be huge.
See you there!