Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Parisian Past Time

St Honore Bistro, Paris 2008

"Don't stare," my mother said.
"It's impolite."
But they have a whole set of different manners in Paris.

Rue des St. Honore, 2008

The mode for staring is all set up for you.
People-watching is not discreet.

Rouge St. Honore, 2008

It's the whole idea!

People are fascinating to watch. From my cafe look-out I saw a lady wearing an Hawaiian shirt and tartan plaid pants, paired with leopard skin stilettos; a young couple bickering and a mature couple smooching; a guy carrying a Scotty Dog in his man-purse; little twin sisters in matching school uniforms, navy trench coats and red berets playing hopscotch; a very old woman in a long skirt, woolen socks, clogs, threadbare cardigan topped by a shawl, and a bandanna tied over her head, chatting away on her cell phone.

A blind man maneuvered the crowded, narrow sidewalk with his white cane. At the corner he stopped and waited for a few minutes. Then he dashed across the street with the cane slung jauntily over his shoulder, deftly side-stepping an on-coming bicycle. On the other side of the road he lowered his cane and became blind again, tapping the white stick as he negotiated his way through the traffic.

Listening in is great, too. We were in a hotel restaurant when a young couple sat down. He spoke English with a heavy accent and she was American. Excitedly she looked over the menu, and then he informed her he didn't have enough money. "What?? You borrowed all that money from my mother and you've already spent it on yourself? After what just happened in that room upstairs, I feel disrespected that you can't even buy me a drink." She noticed us listening, (and staring) and switched to French as they got up to leave.

Do you like to people-watch? It's like coming into the middle of a movie: I love to imagine the rest of the story when I see an intriguing character. Who are some characters you've observed?

(I wonder if anyone has ever watched me.)

Weird woman taking picture of her reflection in hotel elevator, 2008.


The World According To Me said...

I love to people watch too!

I work opposite a family court, and you can often see and hear the arguments outside the building. They are often very heated, and my colleagues and I peer outside the window stating our observations of why the relationship went wrong!

PS Leopard skin stilettos?!

Keri(th) said...

I'm an in-the-closet people watcher. I would be completely mortified if I were caught, so I find inconspicuous ways to catch a gander, and I pretend that I'm completely oblivious when listening in on a conversation, in hopes that the speakers will keep dishing out the fascinating story line.

Paris looks lovely. I could even get by on my choppy Canadian French. Some day.

Christie said...

That story of the couple in the cafe is HILARIOUS. Do you think somewhere in the world, she wrote a blog post about that woman in Paris who eavesdropped on her embarrassing conversation? I do hope so.

kenju said...

I love watching people and listening in when they don't know that I am. I feel sorry for that American girl who was taken advantage of by that guy. She should dump him straightaway!!

Anonymous said...

I love people watching. I don't judge them ever, I just enjoy the entertainment.