Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ten Things You Won't Find In Paris

Here are ten things you probably won't find in Paris:

1) Horn-honking drivers. Yes, there's lots of traffic in Paris. Lots of it! But as a general rule drivers don't lean on their car horns. You hear a lot more honking in New York, Philly and other big American cities.

2) Oatmeal. Not generally available - even at breakfast.

3) Sleek, modern, unadorned design. The French love ornamentation. Everything is embellished.

4) Nutra-Sweet brand or Sweet 'n Low brand sugar substitutes. Real sugar is preferred and often there is no alternative.

5) People talking on cell phones or texting while they're dining. Meal time is for live, in-person, face-to-face conversation and enjoyment of the moment and the meal. Period.

6) Margarine or other butter substitutes. No way!

7) Traffic signals that straddle intersections. More often than not you'll find the traffic light at the intersection, not suspended over your head.

8) Decaffeinated coffee. If you ask for it, they might not even know what the hell you're talking about. And they're proud of it.

9) Free museums and public attractions. There's no Smithsonian in France's capital city. Once a month they may let you in without a ticket. That's it.

10) Junk/snack foods and junk snackers. Ditto, ultra-sized soft drinks. You won't find racks full of potato chips, street-muching snackers and big gulpers.  Bonus byproduct: Less litter and fewer potbellies.

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