You know you’re in Paris (and therefore no longer in Congo) when you get yelled at by cleaning ladies for asking why the only bathroom in the baggage claim area is closed.
You know you’re in Paris when a screaming match ensues with a cab who refuses to take you because he thinks you chose his cab instead of going to the first cab in the order of arrival (who had refused you because you had four suitcases). He then proceeds to insult you.
You know you’re in Paris, in case you were a little confused, when the next cab refuses to take you solely because he saw the last cab driver refuse you, without asking you why the cab refused to take you. You then have to patiently explain the entire last ten minutes of argumentativeness and close-mindedness on the part of the last cab driver before this guy starts yelling at you, telling you that you should have reported the abuse, and that this, my friend, this, is why Paris cab drivers have such a terrible, and unjust and undeserved reputation. You comment he refused you without investigating, he says, well, you know, I wasn’t going to take a chance. You wonder why people wonder what’s wrong with France.
You know you’re not in Congo, however, when you’ve gone through customs and haven’t been asked for bribes. When you’re wearing sandals and your feet aren’t dirty. When you turn on the shower and the water pressure actually feels strong. When you’re surfing on the internet, and there is no loading time for anything. When random people who don’t know you insult you. This just goes to show that my theory that you will always enjoy Paris more if you’re a little clueless. If you’re French and have lived here, the amount of smugness, rudeness, underhanded comments, just plain mean-spirited things people say are enough to never make you regret your decision to leave this town. I find Paris easier to love and fall in love with in transit. Less bull-‘merde’.