When I had been in Paris for about a month, I was having dinner with my Parisian friend Ariane. "Tell me, how is Paris different from home, so far? What big differences have you noticed here?" she asked in true journalistic fashion.
Of course there were myriad cultural differences, but the first thing I blurted out was, "Everyone rides scooters!"
"Oh, you mean les trottinettes? Well, yeah, I guess," was more or less her reply, though I'm sure she was infinitely more articulate than that.
But it's true. In my first weeks here, I was flabbergasted to see Parisians of all ages paddling down the sidewalks on their trottinettes. Now I'm accustomed to seeing them everywhere, part of the fabric of everyday life.
In Paris, they are ridden not so much to gain lightning speed, but just as another means of urban transport. Some tiny tots learn to maneuver a trottinette almost as soon as they can walk, so that they can keep up with maman and papa on family walks in the neighborhood. They squiggle along the sidewalk in a special trottinette rhythm, scooping occasionally at the pavement with one hovering foot, able to stop on a centime (usually!) when they reach a corner or encounter a tottering vieille dame.
Plenty of adults use trottinettes, too. Not to the same extent that kids do, but I certainly don't blink an eye when I see a businessman in a suit or an elegantly dressed Parisienne gliding along on a shiny scooter. It's just a matter of practicality.
Walking past a lycée the other day, I saw dozens of trottinettes chained to the deux roues hitching posts just as bikes would be.
Targeted Website Traffic - Webmasters helping webmasters develop high value relevant links. Promoting ethical web-marketing using the time trusted pillars of relevance and popularity.