Last week I was riding the RATP bus on one of my "get to know Paris cheaply" afternoon excursions. In the seat in front of me was an American couple, about retirement age, both sounding relatively educated and cultivated. They were, however, bickering needlessly about who had the right idea about taking the bus and who , in fact, was right about just about everything they had done since their arrival in Paris. I was getting exhausted doing all that anonymous eavesdropping on all the petty acrimony.
As the bus approached Place de la Bastille, we could see a growing crowd of people, all either wrapped in or waving Lebanese flags. Music was playing. The people were resolute and smiling.
"Look, Bob!" exclaimed the American lady to her husband. "One of those French demonstrations. Let's check it out!!"
"What is it all about?" he grumbled, as he hoisted himself up, not wanting to be bested.
"Oh, well, it looks like 'Save The Trees' or something." she flung over her shoulder as she scrambled off the bus.