As of a half week ago or so, I am in Paris, consuming their cultural artifacts like a good American tourist as part of my thank-God-I-graduated activities.
Here’s the thing about Paris: people are always telling you that Parisians have serious class and romance going for them. Of course, the fact that you are liable while walking down the street to step in dog crap flies in the face of this a bit, but evidently they’re working to fix that little faux pas.
But what really makes me think that this whole “we’re classy” thing is just marketing is the pharmacies. It seems like every block has a pharmacy, or sometimes two, and while this would not necessarily be a bad thing (maybe Parisians just get sick a lot), every single pharmacy has a garish green and often blue neon plus sign sticking out into the street, usually flashing, and always really, really ugly.
I don’t get it. Who the heck thought that this would be a good idea? Sure there’s neon in some parts of the city, which is to be expected, but walking down what would otherwise be an interesting street of apartments and little shops who wants a brilliant flashing plus sign in their face?
On the other hand, the newer, snazzier pharmacy signs show you the temperature, and in the absence of your typical American bank sign, that’s kind of nice.