Has Paris changed? Yes, I do think so. Apart from the obvious new tram lines, the bicycle lanes, the widened footpads and the road works that have made a lot of streets safer to cross, I also think that the people in the city have changed. Where the infrastructural changes are nice, the real change for me lay in the mentality of the people I met. Whether it was on the street, in bars or restaurants, everybody was so friendly.
Traditionally the French, and especially the Parisians, are considered to be a grumpy and arrogant bunch. Let me say that this has never been my opinion: I've always liked France and the French. Never have I been able to tell those gruesome stories many of my Dutch compatriots can tell you. Over the years, my personal experiences have been positive. Perhaps because I speak the language? The number of tourists that expect the French to understand commandos in an incorrect and heavily accented English, is just too big. Anyway, despite the fact that I appear to be one of those old fashioned Francophiles who just loves everything about
I couldn't happen to see more smiling faces on the street, to see girls dressed according to the latest fashion (yes, the vestimentary 80's and 90's are over!), to interact more with the people on the street and to experience friendly, relaxed and funny personnel in bars and restaurants.
Perhaps it's because I've changed too. Compared to the two years when I lived in
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