Thursday, November 29, 2007

Paris - It ain't all bad

After all the bad press Paris has been getting lately what with strikes, riots and general grittiness I thought it might be a good idea to redress the balance at least a little bit with a true story of how nice Parisians can be.
Now, I am not an admirer of cities in general. I must say, however, that after San Francisco Paris is pretty high on my list. I've been going there for over 40 years and still like it. Like all big cities Paris is a better place to be a tourist in that as a place to live in. Unless, that is, you're reasonably well heeled. Of course then anywhere is a better place than if not, but I digress. At any rate this story is true and happened just last week on Thanksgiving day as a matter of fact.
A friend of ours had to leave our Thanksgiving lunch to go down to Montauban to pick up her parents who were supposed to arrive from England that day BY TRAIN! Of course the strikes were on so she really didn't expect them to arrive, but since she hadn't heard she had to go down just in case. The parents who are 88 & 82 were coming from England via Paris. They were warned & advised not to try the trip, but too wait as they had to change trains in Paris which also involved getting across town from on station to another. Difficult with the strikes. They came anyway not bothering to let anybody know about their progress or lack thereof.

In Paris They were helped by a succession of kind people (bear in mind that they speak very few words of French) First somebody helped them off the train & snagged a porter for them. He then barged them to the front of a very long taxi line & grabbed the next cab for them. The taxi driver hailed another porter for them at the other station. He took them right to their train and made sure they had good seats. Nothing but kindness & efficiency. What strikes? What rudeness? They arrived exactly on time fresh as daisy's.

Its doubtful that this happens all the time, but it does happen. For my money Paris ain't all that bad. And you can still eat well for not a lot of money if you know what you're doing.

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