There seems to be an epidemic of girls pulling their suitcases behind them all over the city. Many of them have excellent legs and long hair, and of course they all have that alluring accent, so I don't understand why they're being kicked out. Maybe it's not even really National Kick Out your Girlfriend Day, I may have leaped to that conclusion too quickly. That's what I do for exercise, leap to conclusions. Also push my luck.
Things I like about the French in addition to their adorable girlfriends:
1. They aren't afraid of responsible alcohol use. Okay, I'm not being particularly responsible right now, but even so, I'm not worried about being hassled. People are free to enjoy, say, a picnic in any public park with a bottle of wine. There is no need to sneak around to circumvent nanny-state laws. Yet I don't see any more drunks here than anywhere else. The people have learned to be responsible because they aren't treated like children.
2. They aren't afraid of dog germs, either. There are dogs on the subway and in the restaurants. Their dogs behave well enough to go everywhere because they're properly socialized, and they're properly socialized because they go everywhere. See how that works?
3. The French aren't legalistic. I rented a bicycle earlier, and there was no waiver to sign, no helmet to wear. People can sit on, say, the high stone walls along the Left Bank of the Seine if they feel like it, and no safety-Nazi will tell them to get off. And if they slip and fall, they won't hire an ambulance-chaser to help them sue somebody else.
4. They take food seriously. The bread, wine, butter and chocolate are as good as they get, and bargains to boot.
5. They walk or ride bicycles when it's appropriate. I have American neighbors who no kidding drive their cars to their mailboxes. And if you see an American adult riding a bicycle, and he's not dressed like Lance Armstrong winning the Tour de France, your first thought is that he lost his drivers license.
I overheard a couple other Americans here refer to the French as "surrender monkeys". Ironic, since America is in the process of surrendering in Iraq and Afghanistan right now. Declaring victory and retreating, more accurately, but same end-game. Just as we did in Korea, Vietnam, Somalia and Lebanon. I submit that we should not point fingers at the French.