For this sunny Monday morning (the weather hasn’t yet realised that it’s October!)
10. People with ludicrously small dogs on the Métro. So small that they have to carry them in case they get trampled on. (Note: this only applies when I’m in a good mood and not in a rush, when their yapping really gets on my nerves).
9. The way shopkeepers also ask “Et avec ceci?”, even when you’ve just bought a handful of every kind of veg they have. Or when it’s clearly a croissant for your breakfast, so why would you need another one?
8. When you hear a guide giving a group of tourists completely the wrong information. (That might seem slightly nasty, but it’s a remnant from being in Oxford: there they confuse the colleges, here it’s the churches and the museums).
7. Suddenly finding a park somewhere completely unexpected, equipped with benches, flowers, statues and free WiFi. Oh, and lots of Parisians eating their lunch.
6. When you’re giving directions to someone and you realise that you say things like ‘cross the river when you see the obelisk’ or ‘take the fourth exit at the roundabout at the Arc de Triomphe’.
5. The way French people who walk past when you’re having lunch outside will always say ‘Bon appetit!’, even if they’ve never met you before. In England that would be considered very weird.
4. The firemen who go for runs in the morning, in a big group, all dressed in matching navy t-shirts and bright red shorts. And the fact that there’s always one or two who feel the need to prove themselves by jetting off ahead, and always one who can’t keep up at the back.
3. Unexpected acts of driver kindness. Like the taxi driver that didn’t barge into the small space but stopped to let me cross the Pont Alexandre III (on a bike) and get back onto the cycle lane.
2. Seeing a French person walking down the street with a baguette under their arm. Especially when they’ve been unable to resist and have eaten the end already!
1. The Eiffel Tower. Even when I’m grumpy, it’s cold and dark and raining, I see it lit up or glittering, and ‘bam!’, I’m smiling.