Travel

December 17

Paris (France)Charles de GaulleDeath

The weather in Paris: not so cold, say 45 degrees, but rainy and frighteningly windy. On the way to the post office -- one of my favorite places in the neighborhood -- I was almost blown over. Dead leaves were making crazy circles in the street, and Parisians were clutching their lapels.

Meanwhile, I am going to propose a French Legion of Honor medal for the old woman I saw today on the Rue de l'Universite picking up after her dog. Recently, a friend saw another Parisian dog owner doing the same thing. Could it be a trend?

I met an American a few weeks ago who's moving to Paris. He's lived here before and has done considerable traveling with his pet rabbit. Monsieur Chloe, as the bunny is called, turns heads in France, though some clearly envision him as lapin in a pot with pommes de terre and carrots. My friend keeps perfectly house-trained M. Chloe in the bathroom at his hotel and shops the markets for parsley, the rabbit's favorite dinner.

But this takes the gateau: One night a few weeks ago, I landed at Charles de Gaulle airport after a trip to Wales and caught a cab into the city. The driver was a woman, which isn't all that unusual in Paris. More noteworthy was the fact that she was accompanied by a fluffy little white dog named Fifi. The pup curled up on the passenger seat in front but eventually climbed into her mommy's lap and then crawled onto her shoulders, where she slept, like a feather boa. When I asked the driver if the dog got along with passengers, she said, yes, mostly, except that Fifi doesn't like men.

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