The Lasting Quality Of Life In France
Paris’ Unique Identity
Having just returned from a trip to Paris I want to remind everyone of why we love France so much, and of that very special quality of Life in France. Of course, as with every culture there are negatives but I want to share with you what I see as so positive about life in France and firstly it is that somehow, despite the global age we live in, France maintains its own identity. As you enjoy your coffee, or even tea, sitting at a pavement café you simply could not be anywhere else in the world. No wonder so many U.K. people want to buy a house in France!
This was my first Parisian trip in 4 years and except for the increased number of tourists at most of the major sights, Paris remains as wonderful as ever. Having started my visit by heading over to Notre Dame and seen the long queues waiting to gain entry, I retreated and ambled back across the Seine to one of the ‘villages’ of Paris where life has not changed in the 50 years that I have known it. Here, right in the centre of Paris, I lived life as a local for three days and that is when I was reminded of the quality of life in France that I value so much.
Pavement Cafes, Restaurants And Boutique Shops, This is True Life In France
People are more polite than in London, manners are still in evidence and no-one walks into you busy in their own world of their mobile phone. In fact, in cafés, bars and restaurants there was little evidence of mobile phones. People sat reading a newspaper or even talking to each other! Then there were all the wonderful, individual shops where prices were high but where the window displays were created with real flair and everything seemed to have been chosen with taste and love. I could afford a few very small gifts to take home and, of course, the service was wonderful and each gift was beautifully wrapped for me.
With so many special, individual shops it is not surprising that most people are well dressed, not necessarily elegant or expensively dressed, but each person with their own look rather than the uniform of jeans. Back to the cafés…..no-one makes cakes like the French and the quality of the patisseries remains amazing. You don’t even have to queue for your coffee or tea, waiters come to your table and serve you, even bringing you a tray of tempting cakes for you to choose from. This emphasis on quality of food is seen even in the centre of Paris where the food markets still open every morning with the most incredible display of tempting fruits and vegetables, cheeses, breads, flowers etc. There are small supermarkets which people also use but they do not have huge branded shopfronts, always blending into the architecture of the street in which they are to be found. Transport is cheap, less busy and more frequent than in London. The roads are not jammed with traffic and many people use bikes to cycle locally, usually with an old sit-up-and beg-bike with a basket on the front for shopping, handbag, briefcase or whatever.
My visit to Paris reminded me that life in France is so very special and with beautiful properties at affordable prices no wonder so many people choose to move there. Most U.K. buyers decide on a rural lifestyle but knowing that Paris still retains that special quality of life that is so French makes me believe that the smaller towns and villages will jealously guard that special ‘Frenchness’ forever.
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