I warned one friend before his first trip to Paris: "Parisians can be a little aloof."
I have been scoffed at, "pffft" at and even tickled under my chin while attempting to communicate with my horribly embarrassing French. Parisians also have a reputation for plowing right into you if you do not move out of their way or butt right in front of you pretending as though they don't realize there is a line. And they tend to be a little self-righteous.
Yet the taxi drivers, concierge, waiters and shop workers all seemed to take to him marvellously. They were proving me wrong!
We were in a sweet little café in the garden at Palais Royal and my friend ordered an iced cappuccino to go. The waiter had no idea what he was asking for. After a few more attempts at trying to understand he eventually allowed Scott behind the counter to make his own! With not a word of French under his belt, there was my friend canoodling with the waiters. He came back with two wonderfully-cold ice caps in hand.
He left Paris with a great first impression.
All their aloofness aside, I do find the French fascinating. They are a wonderful lot on the whole. Perhaps they merely have reason to be a tad self-righteous!
Above all, I adore their style. A French woman always looks chic and sophisticated. Her jeans are never too tight, she wears comfy yet fashionable shoes, loose fitted quality shirts, the perfect jacket and just-so scarves. Voilà: understated elegance!
By the way, you do not need to know a word of French to enjoy Paris. A friendly "bonjour" will get you far.
“I like Frenchmen very much,
because even when they insult
you they do it so nicely”