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The French. They are different from you and me.

After a transatlantic flight and semi-conscious train ride into the city, my first teenaged memory of Paris is collapsing into a cab – followed by a sinking feeling as the driver contemplates the address provided by my mother. Non, he has never heard of such a place. Sighing, he immerses himself in a tattered street atlas. The meter ticks away. My mother rolls her eyes. Still. Something about this man makes me think we just might be the first tourists in the history of Paris to request rue des petits hotels. I’ve given the French the benefit of the doubt ever since, and over the years, have found plenty of experts to back me up. According to my sources, unlocking the charms of the French is

 

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