French women don’t get fat; they aren’t fat. They don’t dress in bright colors and don’t wear a lot of makeup. In fact, I have seen quite a number of women of all ages without any makeup. I think they don’t get fat because they move around so much. Early in the morning, one can see people running to work or to school. Parents walk with children. During the day, men and women briskly walk somewhere to have lunch; in the evening they obviously walk home or to have an outing in the city. Sure, lots of them use transportation, in the same brisk energetic way one can observe outside. At weekend or public holidays the parks and playgrounds are full. Children play, rush around on scooters; many adults jog or stroll along the many paths and valleys.
On Monday there were short but very heavy rains. 10 minutes of rain and wind, 10 minutes of sunshine, 10 minutes of rain and so on. Pedestrians took the weather, meteo as it is called in French, in stride. Umbrellas opened and closed fast. In the middle of the day, right when we were going through Luxembourg Gardens, gusts of wind howled, it started to rain and then we realized that there was hail too! There was a concerted rush to one of the numerous gazebos. People huddled together, watching Mother Nature at work, smiling. I saw little kids pick up tiny round ice pellets squealing excitedly. When the sun came out again, we ran, with the little almost translucent icicles scrunching under our feet. It was very warm, so they all melted in a few seconds.
Intrepid Japanese tourists descended from excursion buses and snapped pictures of everything they could see.
Every morning we watch another amazing sight: a small flock of brightly colored green and golden parakeets fly from somewhere above, settle for a little time on a tree, and then swiftly fly back. I read about them, it seems that they are the same or close to what the British call budgerigar. And they are the most popular pets after cats! It is indeed a very joyful sight, something we never expected to see in Paris.
Each day while wandering around, peeking into side streets, I see something new and wonderful. If a building looks promising – old, or unusual in shape, or attractive to the point of being irresistible – I walk closer to it and take pictures. Did I mention that ALL buildings are beautiful? Well, some of course are more beautiful or impressive than others. And I mean regular buildings, not just landmarks, monuments and tourist attractions.
I checked several food stores to see if they sell all those gorgeous Easter chocolates at a discount yet. So far, nothing, same prices as yesterday. The giant chocolate bunny then will have to wait until better times 🙂 rainy weather is forecast for a few days, and umbrellas are moved to the fore in every shop and souvenir stall. The prices range from as low €2.90 to €19.95, and I mean the cheap ones. As far as I could tell, they were all the same umbrellas, so I bought the cheapest one. There are also raincoats for €3-5 hung out near many shops. This city is definitely ready for any weather!