Sunday, 7 September 2008

Paris: pretty

Sitting outside the Pompidou Centre eating a pack of madelines, it strikes me how cheap local food has been in France and England. All the regular tropes are reversed: French wine is 4€50, Evian water is 0€70, while Coca-Cola is 2€50. In London I was delighted to find that HP Sauce was just 65p. It was the American products that were expensive. Don't know about you, but paying NZ$7 for a pack of Pringles was a little beyond reasonable.

Everything in Paris is so goddamn beautiful. You can tell the foreign girls because they don't have a tan or a scarf and weigh over 60kg. The children are likewise unbelievably well-dressed and cute, and well-behaved. It stands in stark contrast to London's squalling clusters of corn-fed hellions with haircuts that guarantee they'll be arrested for loitering with intent within the next ten years. least I thought the French were preternaturally attractive until I left the city centre. Here, in an immigrant, working-class area of the city, yoof loiter in doorways, horse teeth jut from supermarket clerks, ill-advised makeup decisions adorn teenage faces, and dollar (well, €uro) stores and laundromats are much in evidence. The children are still well-behaved, but my construct of a culturally-evolved master race has taken a major blow. I had made the mistake of judging a population the size of New Zealand by its Newmarketistas.

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