It is often thought by some American tourists that Parisiens are rude. In reality this is a rare exception rather than the rule, but aren't there kind and rude people everywhere?
Just today I carried a 10 kilo (22lb) box to the post office. I was feeling pretty proud of myself, as last week I learned how to use the automatic postal machine. I fully expected to do that again today. Nope. The box was too heavy for the machine.
Initially, the postal worker told me I needed to return home, go on the computer to put in all the info and then return with the box to the post office with the code they would send me. Well, he saw my face. "Bring up the website on your phone," he said. "What website?" I replied. He laughed and shook his head.
After clearing that up, he walked away, but then came back. "Are you still trying to bring up the French post office website on your phone?"
I nodded. I suppose I was looking a little flustered. He looked at my phone over my shoulder and pointed. "How can you open anything on that phone? You have too many apps open!" He laughed and walked away again. So I tried to close all my apps.
He came back again. "What is your name?" he asked. "My name is Anastasia," I told him as if we were going to become fast friends. I asked him his name. It was -- believe it or not -- Elvis.
"Well, Anastasia come with me, we are going to get this sorted," Elvis said with confidence.
Elvis escorted me behind the scenes to a postal worker desk. Two postal workers sat me down behind their computer and helped me complete the whole application, stamped the box and sent it on it's way. In the meantime, I learned their names, a little about their life in Paris and their wonderful families!
So, are there rude people in Paris? I really have yet to find any. Do they have bad days, just like you and I? I would say they do, and they handle them just as well or as poorly as anybody!
Kindness goes a long way in this world. Perhaps we could learn a little something from the French!
Anastasia (Aka...French postal worker for a moment)