Paris greeted me with green fields appearing out of the drizzly yet vaguely romantic weather upon arrival at CDG airport this morning. And I was immediately drawn into the cross-cultural experience that typifies landing at one of the world's major international airports.
- The French airline flight attendant who assured me that he doesn't eat airline food, so he couldn't make a recommendation about which in-flight entree to choose. I chose the vegetarian lasagna and it was better than I expected. In fact, the entire meal wasn't bad. Way to go, United Airlines!
- The American tour group (from the South) that kept yelling at each other along the escalators as we headed toward baggage claim. I hope they finally found "Albert", because they certainly let everyone near them know how impossible he was. I kept my mouth shut and hoped I looked vaguely foreign -- or, more importantly, disinterested.
- The American threesome of middle-aged women at the American Express counter who asked me if Parisian stores would take US dollars. I quickly disabused them of that notion and told them to get Euros -- and that the exchange rate was fine.
- The young Japanese women dressed in what can best be described as "school girl style". I think I was a bit taken aback by the furry ears on their heads and cat-like tails attached to their clothing. It added a whole new look to those impossible heels they were wearing as they scurried around the train station.
- The elegantly dressed East Africans. Special thanks to the East African woman who told the two young East Africans on our train to turn their MP3 player off. I didn't know her language, but I certainly knew the tone and there was an immediate response with a result of a quieter car for passengers.
- The Germans who dashed off my second train as they clearly realized they were on the wrong track.
- Overheard on CNN.com: Not-so-fabulous flights send some readers' tempers soaring (news.blogs.cnn.com)