I've just been over at the Daily Connoisseur (had to go check how to spell that). She lived for a while in France and is writing about that experience. I had a work colleague in Utah who also lived in Paris, where she studied medicine at the Sorbonne. Of course D spoke fluent French, which was demonstrated one afternoon when a handsome young black man came to visit the office from Atlanta. He, too, had spent time in France and as the two chattered away in French, both clearly enjoying the practice, the whole office stood around and watched, mesmerised. We actually applauded them afterwards. Clearly, we didn't get out and about much.
In this post, her point about the rude way in which people use their mobile phones also hit home. (Don't even get me started on personal music players. Suffice it to say the railways instituted a quiet car for those of us who wish to keep their remaining sanity.) I've lost count of the number of times I've had to step out of the way of some one so engrossed in their text message or phone conversation that they were about to walk straight into me. If they can't walk and talk at the same time, why would anyone believe they could safely drive? The lost peace and quiet of libraries, changing rooms and even toilets (does the person on the other end really want to hear the toilet sounds?) sometimes makes me wish for the good old days of phone booths. I always feel sorry for the girl or boy whose partner is busy talking on the phone as they walk down the street, supposedly together but obviously are not.