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MeiMei Fox

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Paris: Fact or Fiction? [QUIZ]

Posted: 04/13/2012 10:51 am

France is a country that pulls us in two directions: We both love to love it, and love to hate it.

On the one hand, we embrace the Parisian reputation of being a fine dining, fashion, art and architecture mecca. On the other hand, we constantly hear people complaining about how rude and snobby, stinky and disorganized the French can be.

I had the great privilege of living in Paris for two years: Once during my junior year abroad from Stanford, as an exchange student in 1992; then again in 2002, while I was writing a book. I just returned from a two-week long vacation in Paris this spring, 2012. The first week, I enjoyed a reunion with my six favorite classmates from the Stanford overseas program. The second week was a blissful belated honeymoon for me and the Love of My Life, Kiran (we eloped last September).

I've compiled this quiz/slideshow, with all photographs by my super talented husband Kiran Ramchandran (@KiranCreates on Instagram), to test your feelings on Paris: Rude or Polite? Fashion forward or behind the times? Culinary wonder or just so-so? I express my opinions. Now here's your chance to express yours by voting on each slide and commenting.

Rudest Country on Earth
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Earlier this month, Time magazine published the results of a recent survey that listed France as the rudest country on Earth. While this has long been France's reputation, I find it an outdated stereotype. Every waiter I encountered on this trip was charming, engaging, and attentive.

One day, as my girlfriends and I were shopping, a salesperson came sprinting down the street, chasing us from over two blocks away. She was horrified that she had forgotten to give us the 30% discount from the sale the store had running, and insisted that we return with her to get our money refunded, in cash. I was amazed! Better customer service that I've had in America on most any occasion.
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