So I went to Paris and and saw some stuff

Bob Borson —  June 20, 2010 — 7 Comments

The Louvre Entry by I.M. Pei at late afternoon

Everyone needs to leave their bubble every now and again – go one town over or fly across the world to famous cities full of cigarette smokers super models and un-affordable fantastic architecture. I recently did the latter (*air punch*) and if you haven’t read the last few posts you’re lucky missing out on the type of garbage insight that only I can bring. I thought it might be interesting to lay out some of the observations I found while traveling; some are awesome, and some are terrible even more awesome. Okay, I promise I’m going to stop with the strike-through no I’m not.

Orange on orange with African tote purse and leather sandals = French Hippie!!

  • Little French girls all wear dresses and their mothers do not.

    red on red with ciggie, bath shoes, and cellphone

  • Capri pants are very popular with the man in Paris 
  • Young French people all sound polite and adorable, even if they are cussing you out and insulting your choice of shoe wear.
  • French people are not rude, at least not to me. I had a great experience with every French person I spoke with. Seriously, if you are from the Southwest (and I am going to call Texas the southwest) people are crazy, ridiculously friendly. Everybody here says ‘Yes Sir’ and ‘Yes Ma’am’, so by comparison, everybody else tends to appear rude. Everyone I spoke with might not have gone out of their way to be friendly like us Texans, but nobody was rude.
  • French women don’t really wear bra’s – at least not the ones that should.
  • Turned up collars apparently are coming back in style. I know you’re thinking ‘when did they ever go out of style?’. I know, that’s what I thought!
  • Almost all French people are thin. Everyone is thin in Paris, despite eating carbohydrates like we breathe air, because everyone smokes like a chimney. Seriously thought I was going to see little kids smoking by the time I left – I spent a lot of time explaining smoking to my daughter:
[scene outside pastry shop]
Kate: Dad? Why does everyone smoke here?
Dad: Because they are French and want to stay skinny because they eat a lot of carbohydrates.
Kate: What are carbohydrates?
Dad: Everything that is good and right and delicious in this world is a carbohydrate.
Kate: Are their cigarettes more healthy?
Dad: No, they are bad for you just the same as ours, and they know that smoking causes cancer just like we do.
Kate: Then why do they do it – that seems pretty stupid to me
Dad: Me too.
[end scene inside pastry shop, ordering more carbohydrates]
 

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No funny story, just a good life lesson; but I will say this – if you ever meet me and I see you litter, I’m going to punch you right in the face. I just don’t understand littering. In the gutter beside every curb in France is 50 billion cigarette butts and it makes my blood boil to see someone just pitch that butt into the street when they are done. That same person probably wouldn’t throw a drink cup into the street but for some reason, smokers think cigarette butts don’t count as trash and throwing it into the street somehow isn’t littering. You have been warned…(do you think used cigarette butts could be fashioned together to provide relief housing? Just a thought).

Finally, I wanted to include a picture of the ‘Fire Evacuation Map’ that was in my hotel.  I thought it was awesome – enough to take a picture so I have included it here for your amusement. Take a good look at the people indicated in the diagram. There’s women in stilettos and wide brimmed hats, barrel chested (and one would assume good looking) men, – is that guy in green military and is he escorting people? Awesome. The guy on the middle right looks like he is practicing his karate on stairs – Wax on! But the absolute best is the last picture on the bottom right – you got the fashionista, barrel chested guy, and I’m going to say the next one is a middle aged lady and probably a cougar.

Greatest evacuation map ever.

even better

  • http://estplans25.wix.com/est-plans Pascal Reiné

    So cool, so true !

  • Benedikte Ranum

    Fab post, Bob. I think you’ve captured the essence of Paris (and made me laugh at the same time – the evacuation map is magnifique…). Think it’s time I went back there!

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      Paris is just one of those places that is inherently awesome. I would go there every year if there weren’t other awesome places that I haven’t been to yet.

      Yes – it is the greatest evacuation map ever.

  • Kathy

    I love Paris, even with the cigarette butts and dog deposits on the sidewalks, especially for the quality of the carbohydrates available every 20 feet. Parisians–who really should cut back on the cancer sticks and scoop the poop–also stay thin because they loathe the subway and therefore walk almost everywhere they go. Why ride underground when there is so much beauty above? IDK. As a girl from the Southeast, y’all, my interactions there have been nothing but positive. Glad yours were too, Bob!

    • Kathy

      The comment wouldn’t let me sign in with Twitter, sincerely, @livethefinelife. ;).

      • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

        Walking is certainly part of the culture there – that’s what we did except I had to let my then 5 year old daughter ride on my shoulders a lot – talk about exhausting.

        On a separate note: drinking wine is really good for aching shoulders

  • http://twitter.com/architectderek Derek Leavitt

    Bob,

    So with you on the cigarettes are litter thing. In LA, people toss them out their car windows. Surprisingly, there aren't people that go around and pick up those discarded cigarette butts for them, so I get to swim with them in the ocean. Not cool people.