Wednesday, May 21, 2014

This reminds me ...

In Paris Charles De Gaulle airport, you can recharge your electronic devices the easy way by sitting on a stool at a bar lined with electric plugs. Or you can pedal power into your devices on an exercycle. I liked this. It reminds me of an exposition I saw at the Grand Palais in 2011 where the exhibit hall was set up with many exercycles wired to a board displaying how much power visiting pedalers generated.

French train cars have a quiet section but if most French people speak on the phone as quietly as the ones in my car did, there’d be no need for a special section. Funny, I don’t know how they speak so softly. I watched a man speaking for a long time on his cellphone. He wasn’t whispering; I heard his deep voice forming words with inflections. His facial expressions changed during the conversation; he smiled on occasion. But when he spoke, his lips barely moved. Maybe that’s the secret. This reminds me of the first French restaurant my husband and I ate at. Just a small room with a dozen tables attended by the owner, at full capacity with everyone talking, the restaurant very subtly hummed, like a car engine so finely tuned, you wonder if it’s running. If I clinked my fork on my plate, it echoed above 12 private conversations so loudly, it may as well have been a car horn.

My first evening in Fontenay, TV news featured a segment on rising food prices in France. Most alarming, of course, was an increase in the cost of bread. This reminds me of the U.S., where we get less and less for our grocery money. The difference is that, at least from my observations, the French more conscientiously conserve food, water, electricity, and gas.  

No comments: