The Sweet Life in Paris
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Since only 20 percent of Americans have passports, we don’t get out as much as we should, and our dealings with foreigners are usually on our own turf where they have to play by our rules. We’re not so good at adapting to others, since we’re rarely in a position that requires us to do it. . . . I wonder why when we travel outside the United States we expect people to behave like Americans – even in their own country.
Where one might traditionally find, say, ceilings, big pieces of crumbly stucco dangled instead, collapsing in shards of papery stalactites, littering everything with dusty flakes of plaster.
Every Frenchwoman I know loves chocolate so much she has a chocolate cake in her repertoire that she’s committed to memory, one she can make on a moment’s notice.
The French take their language very, very seriously, and I can’t remember a dinner party where an argument about some aspect of the language didn’t at some point break out and was not resolved until someone went to a bookshelf and pulled out a copy of Larousse, an important fixture in every French household.
If you really want a cappuccino, go to Italy.