Reporting From Paris

I have been in Paris for the last week, my first visit to this city. This is a fun time of the year to be in Europe, as the Europeans generally make a bigger deal out of Christmas than we do. Before we left, friends warned us against two things: pro-genocide demonstrators, and bedbugs. So far we have seen the same number of each: zero.

Yesterday we visited one of Paris’s major department stores to do a little shopping. At one point we were in the children’s book section, looking for something for grandchildren, and we came across this: a set of board books for young children, featuring some of the great heroes of history. People like Charlemagne and Julius Caesar. And…

Yup. The disturbed Swedish teenager whose accomplishments evidently rival those of the Father of Europe.

Despite that, I think that Western Europeans are generally less politically correct than Americans, and Central and Eastern Europeans much less so.

We were scheduled to take the Eurostar to London via the Chunnel around noon today. We arrived at Gare du Nord to find that our train was canceled on account of a strike. Who is striking is unclear–let alone why–and other trains seem to be running. We rebooked on a train tomorrow, hoping the strike will be over.

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