The good and the bad of Paris
The good (among many other things): wonderful bread on every corner and excellent subways and - if you like to walk as much as I do - you can get some big jelly-like ampoules to stick on the blisters on the bottoms of your feet and off you go for some more happy miles of sightseeing.
The bad: woe be to you if you need a bathroom while you're out. One guidebook I saw said, solemnly, that the Parisians simply do not pee away from their homes. They go around parched instead. Yikes!
We had just stopped at a coffee place at the fleamarket - where Derek's espresso cost $4.50 and Hannah's espresso with cream cost about $6.00 - so we weren't in the mood to do it again, but an hour later I needed a bathroom. We saw a "toilette" sign pointing up some unguarded steps at a cafe so I slithered on in and up the stairs and was in the stall pulling down my pants when a barkeep BURST THROUGH THE DOOR and tried to PULL ME out of the stall! He was yelling in French and when I mildly said I don't speak French he just switched over to English, the gist of which was, that I was very rude and that I could not use his bathroom without buying something. I tried to close the door but he wouldn't remove his foot. We were at an impasse, and things were getting rather serious, when he suddenly yielded and left - turning off all the upstairs lights as he left so I was in utter darkness.