Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Say what you will about the French-- and, man, many a day on this trip i had something to say about them-- their manners are impeccable. Whether it's a little kid walking by you, seemingly busy bouncing a ball, or a newspaper salesman in a bad mood, or a frazzled grocery store clerk, they are always ready with a "bon jour!", "bon soir!" and ultimately, a "merci!". I LOVE that!

In the states, we don't look at each other this way. We don't chance that level of eye contact. I'm a pretty eye-contact-y sorta gal, but it still depends on my mood, whether Im going to pass someone on the street, look them in the eye and make verbal contact. And, even then, it's pretty rare.
But, in France, I never missed an opportunity to meet the eyes of my fellow man (or woman, or child) and give a slight nod, a bright eyed smile and a warm "bon jour!" (or, of course, whatever the occasion called for). Never, not ever once, was it not repeated back to me. You gotta love that kind of human contact.


Maggie May said...

that's wonderful

bon jour!

spudballoo said...

bonjour! What super photos, love the chap in the book shop...a real character.

Molly said...

You'll love Africa for the same reason then. We're really good at the warm and personal greeting.
But don't you find it's also in indication of how relaxed and on holiday you are? I'm always friendlier when I'm happy!

montague said...

glad you enjoyed it!

Elizabeth said...

I loved Italy for the same reason. Everywhere I went it was "Bongiorno!" It made me feel so welcome!

Marion Williams-Bennett said...

Here is my favorite line...”I'm a pretty eye-contact-y sorta gal" Perfect!

Love these posts from your trip –


kira said...

YAR, SEVENTEEN POINTS FOR ZEH FROWHNCH!!! love the politesse of the greetings. love the ritual.