For years I have been obsessed (well, maybe not obsessed exactly, maybe more like "recurrently titillated") by accounts of foreigners in France. Especially Paris. I blame Hemingway.
In particular, I love it when foreigners explain the mystery that is the French(wo)man and his/her unique vision du monde. I'm not being ironic, I do actually find it eye-opening. In fact, I have a little project sous le coude that is not entirely unrelated to this issue. But more about that later.
So after the NY Times' Guide to the French, I bring you culinary author David Lebovitz's "15 Things I'd Miss About Paris If I Moved Away" (go read the detail on his blog, you'll love it):
1. The dorky sense of fashion (prevalent in a slightly older segment of the population)
2. The lack of wacky diets and exercise freaks (we love carbs and fatty cheeses)
3. Vélib' (Res confession time: I still haven't tried it, being more of a (fabulous) shoe on sidewalk kinda girl)
4. Les jeunes hommes with impossibly small waistlines (well, ummm, actually I prefer my men not to be thinner than me...)
5. The brusque-ness (yes)
6. The sense of humour (sometimes)
7. The butter (especially if employed in the making of a croissant)
8. The cheap (and drinkable) wine (obviously)
9. The lack of beating-around-the-bush (or "turning around the pot", as I like to call it; goes with the brusque-ness, if you're thinking something, just say it!)
10. You can get anything you want by flirting (in fact, sometimes the only way to get what you want is by flirting; consider it a rite of passage)
11. The volatility (for those puritan Anglos who may not have heard of it, it's called "passion"; the Spanish will know what I'm talking about)
12. Dining in restaurants (especially with cheap and drinkable wine)
13. Cafés (toujours)
14. Cutting in line (what line?)
15. The bakeries (ok, now I've gone and made myself hungry)
Now it's your turn. If you're a foreigner in Paris, or used to be a foreigner in Paris (interpret that how you wish), what are the things you'd miss?