A few of my favorite (Parisian) things…


The first sip of a cafe noisette.

The way every meal is served with a basket of baguette slices, even if you ordered a sandwich.

The way a waiter (who is always a man) will speak only French to you, if you speak very poor but earnest French to him.

The plastic-bag public trash receptacles on every street, labeled in French, “Vigilance and Cleanliness”.

The fact that you never have to wait longer than three minutes for the next Metro.

The way every hot beverage, even a chocolat chaud, is served with a cube or two of sugar.

The way a couple on a train will be totally comfortable kissing passionately for ten minutes, but everyone whispers and cups their hand around a cell phone so as not to disturb other passengers with their conversation.

The fact that even a coffee buys you a spot at a café table for as long as you’d care to sit there, hours if you wish.

The fact that there is no such thing as a “children’s menu”, anywhere.

The vending machines in every Metro station, so you can buy Evian on your way home.

The fact that potato chips come in flavors like Poulet Rôti avec Thym (roast chicken with thyme). I have no idea what they taste like, but I love that they exist.

The utter and complete self-confidence of every Parisian woman.

The butter. Oh, the butter.

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