Friday, January 18, 2008

from Paris: going home

There is a new love of the outdoors in France. Caf├ęs, bars, restaurants have spent more on heating lamps and other warming paraphernalia.

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People are filling every inch of sitting space out on the sidewalk. Cigarette butts are littering the curbside all evening long.

And inside? Sure, still crowded. It’s France, after all – people have to eat. But there is a huge change, a perceptible difference: as of January 1st, every eating and drinking establishment is smoke free.

If Paris felt alive and bustling before, now, more than ever, it is a January madness out there. A wonderful sea of faces, a friendliness and joviality, spilling out along the city streets.

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I’m heading home today. Seems that we could use some of those blankets in Wisconsin. And the heating lamps. And furs and prtable radiators and woolies.

Still, it’s home. I’m hoping that my heating system is up and running.