For now, this is my last post about our short trip to Paris.
The highlights of the trip were:
- spending time with my 70 year-old mum who I don’t see very often because she lives in Australia and I live in Italy;
- spending time with Signor Lu away from the domestic front; and
- doing both of the above in the captivating city of Paris, the surface of which we barely scratched.
The Paris marathon
It hasn’t been a good year for marathons, has it? The New York one cancelled because of Hurricane Sandy. The Boston event marred by acts of terrorism. In contrast, the Paris marathon seemed to be running smoothly – but I bet the Parisian pavements are hard on the joints.
La dolce vita? Wrong city, perhaps.
While we were out on the Parisian streets, doing our own personal marathon, I let my mum stop for a caffeine fix. (Kind-hearted, aren’t I?) Her verdict? French coffee is not that great. Or drinkable, even. To be fair, some of the cafés we stopped at were in highly touristic areas and could get away with serving any old muck because they clearly did not depend on customer loyalty. This happens in Italy, too, of course.
On our final morning, we visited the café on the 6th floor of the Lafayette department store. It was a little difficult to find this coffee spot.
The pastries looked inviting – especially the strawberry ones – but Signor Lu and I were able to resist them because we’d had a generous buffet breakfast at the hotel. My mum, in contrast, still had an appetite. (Go septuagenarians! They’re taking over the world, you know.)
It’s always reassuring to see protest posters in a city.
Capitalism has many faults but I’m not entirely against it.
What I’m more opposed to is mindless consumerism (which capitalism encourages) and fat cat politicians and bankers who misuse and misappropriate the funds they preside over.
I’m strongly opposed to exploitation, too, of course.
And that brings me to Margaret Thatcher, who died while we were in the City of Light. Her politics were too hard, too lacking in compassion for me but she certainly left her mark. And she won’t be forgotten in a hurry.
The French headlines roughly read:
Le Parisien: Something about love and hate (pardon my poor translation).
Libération: The grim reaper
Le Figaro: The woman that changed Great Britain