Bob says: Parisians? Think of every preconception you have about Frenchmen, unless of course you are French, and times by 10. Typical Parisian: barely a minute goes by without lighting a cig, shrugs shoulders raising arms with elbows at 90 degrees and hands out in a nonchalent manner at least 50 times a day, unhelpfully speaking French while clearly knowing English ( although as soon as the wife comes out with a bit of Francais, they will speak English), an indifference to personal hygiene and so on and so forth.
My point is that Parisians give Frenchmen a bad name. Apart from the odd nonchalant shrug frenchmen are none of the above. I write this while camping in the pyrenees near the Spanish border having travelled through much of France, and yer Frenchman is only too pleased to speak English to a language illiterate yorkshireman like myself, only too pleased to throw in a free tin of pate as i buy my foie gras at the market, and only too pleased to inflate my car tyres for free and to offer sound advice on directions that i subsequently ignored. Not only this, yer French have life sorted as it should be; pleasure before work, including 2 hour lunches, more time with family and friends etc. Ruth and i had a beautifully cooked simple meal for lunch, "Plat Du Jour", in the only cafe in a small village on the Loire. The cafe was mainly filled with local workers, all having the Plat du Jour consisting of 3 courses plus wine for just over 10 euros. A cheese board was passed around from table to table before dessert, and everything was very civilised. I´m pretty sure this would happen every working day. How nice is that? We (the British) have got a lot to learn from yer French.