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Discreet Parisians

Coffee in the Luxembourg Garden in Paris. There are many such lonely lovers in the timid February sun, smiling at the blue sky. Uh, that Parisian art of tasting a moment and enjoying the solitude.

Near me, sat madame read a book. Of course, she was with red lips and giant earrings. She, like a true Parisian, dramatically flipped her eyes and from time to time yells at the French “uh la la” – so popular, expressing surprise, admiration or immeasurable disapproval, depending on the situation. And looked at me as if waiting for me to accept her displeasure.

Madame obviously opposed the Americans who spoke too loudly – the French have mastered the art of discretion and silent speaking in public to not prevent others from enjoying their loneliness with a book and coffee, thus they don’t understand others’ desire to voice loudly their existence under the sun.

Even on the train to Paris, there was such silence, everyone spoke with a whisper, even children – parents politely disciplined them if they started to noise. As the baby began to cry relentlessly, dad grabbed him by the arm and stepped out of the wagon into the hallway just to not break the silence and the peace of others.

True, when you buy a ticket, you can choose the environment you want to sit in, if you choose a zen environment then you are expected not to disturb others and they will not interfere with you, you are asked to talk on the phone only in the hallway. Other wagons are a bit noisier, though relatively quiet.

Snobbish, you say. Yes, but I like the discreet art of living together and not disturbing. Like the fact that, when needed, the French become real screams,  that can cause serious public scandal.

Two years I have not been in Paris and missed this city a lot. There lives my good friend so I was an often visitor to amazing Paris. Maybe it came a time to rise my wings again… 

© Fortune, 2020

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