Observations about the French(-Parisians):
Their dress sense and aesthetic is encouraged and cultivated from a very young age. I’ve been gazing in awe at the gorgeous leather boots that a 4 year old girl wears, along with suede miniskirt, funky coloured tights and casually co-ordinated hat and scarf. The little boys are a bit more normal but maybe somewhere in adolescence they realise they need to make an effort to get the stylish girls because it seems that by 18 at the latest most of them have style as well. It’s freaky. And obviously shows how controlled French people really are because with all the velvet jackets and silky scarves going around I don’t know how people can not be stroking each other all the time. My younger brother gave me a furry-hooded hoodie to wear, and I try to discreetly nuzzle back into it whenever I remember that there’s fur mere inches away from my skin.
They are the absolute masters in the western world at taking time out. Well… I can’t know that for sure, because there may be other such as the Spanish or the Italians who have honed that skill as well. Nevertheless they’re the best, whether they’re alone or share the top spot. I’ve always thought that I was pretty good at wiling away time, until I realised how incredibly surprised I was that restaurant/brasserie staff won’t make any attempts to shoo you out after you’ve finished eating. I mean once you’ve bought a coffee, or established yourself on a nice seat in the park, no one gives an ounce of a damn if you spend two hours sitting there reading, writing, staring meaningfully into space as if you were philosophising or remembering a past love affair, tapping away on your laptop or chattering into your phone. No one cares. Really. Not at all.
Conclusion: I am very much not Parisian.
On another note I love the Pompidou Centre. It taught me today that I love Kupka, Luigi Russolo (?) and Sonia Delauney as well as a cubist sculptor called Laurens. I have no idea what I will do with this newfound discovery of my affinity with their work but I’m very appreciative of how they’ve thrilled my brain today. Though I have to confess that after 3 hours of walking around just one section, I had a bender of a headache. That’s one of the problems of some of the museums in Paris I think, they really pack way too much into one “section”. You really have no chance to savour it all, it’s no lie that the brain has limits!!
Final note: All the joggers are American.