1. Parisians have a great revolutionary tradition. They regularly engage in huge manifestations, name little city squares after Communist war heroes, and currently have a Socialist government. Nevertheless, Parisians never jaywalk. They stand docilely at street corners, waiting patiently for the little red standing man to change to the little green walking man in the pedestrian signals before venturing across the street.
2. Young French women are always better looking than the young French men they are with. By contrast, young Italian men are always better looking than the young Italian women they are with. Young Swedes are all good looking.
3. Every morning when I take my walk along the Seine I see a river boat pushing a long barge up or down the river. It is named the DeVinci [not the Da Vinci. the French call Michelangelo "Michelange."] I think it is cool to name a tugboat after the immortal Leonardo.
4. Judging from my informal survey, the French cigarette of choice is the e-cigarette. They are everywhere. However, the French Health Minister is planning to ban them in bars and restaurants, while also moving to compel cigarette companies to make their packaging bland and unattractive, apparently convinced that young French men and women will find smoking less appealing if the Marlboro packs are no longer bright red.
5. HUGANDYOU, the little upscale boutique across the street, is closed for the August vacances. If Matt's comment from a week ago is right, a lot of people will have to get their drugs or launder their money somewhere else.