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17 Aug 2009

Even the tramps have some class

That the French in general have just a little more style than the rest of us is usually pretty obvious. It extends throughout the social classes. Unlike British street drinkers, who usually gather in small bickering groups, sipping constantly on cans of Special Brew, this chap – in Paris last week – carried around a proper glass with which to drink his wine. Not sure about the mobile phone though.

This weekend, at yet another vide grenier, we were preceded by a svelte and soignée older woman as we queued for our grilled saucisse et frites. She demanded a plate and cutlery, rather than kitchen roll and a plastic box, and of course she got a paper plate and plastic knife and fork. She sat beside us at a communal table and chatted away, asking us where we lived, what we thought of the event and so on. We asked her if she lived nearby herself, and she replied that she did, at ‘le chateau’. This is a genuine, 1760s, large and imposing chateau on the edge of the village, and of course not open to the public.

So, happy to mingle with the people, share the pretty simple food available, but she still maintained the minimum standards for civilised life, albeit with disposable stuff.

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