I’ll never forget the first time I realized I had to forget my American sense of what was correct when it comes to restaurants, and dogs allowed in restaurants. I was living in Nice, France and I was ordering a sandwich from a local vendor. It was a hot day and there was no air conditioning in his place. He was sweating profusely which was apparent by the sweat dripping from his head and staining his hat. The line for his sandwiches and salads was really long and no one seemed to notice or care that the same gloveless hand he wiped his head with was the same hand he used to make the food. He did wipe his hand on his towel in front of him but that didn’t matter to me. My stomach started churning and I thought I was going to be sick. But then I looked at everyone else and not one person was reacting and then it hit me, “This would never happen in Los Angeles but I’m not in Los Angeles anymore. People think differently here and you better get it together or you will starve.”
Then a few weeks later my wonderful host mom who made the most scrumptious meals had her dog in the kitchen while she was cooking. She didn’t see anything wrong with it and my French wasn’t good enough to ask her anything about it. I quickly had to realize that I was in her house and I had to deal with what she considered normal. I can’t say that I ever got comfortable with the dog in the kitchen but I couldn’t do anything to change it so I had to deal with it or not eat and if you knew how great her meals were, you would know why that wasn’t going to happen.
After I lived in Nice I moved to Paris and I was sitting eating breakfast with a girlfriend when all of a sudden I heard a dog bark and I didn’t even flinch. Then after a few minutes I stopped and thought to myself, “Wow how things have changed. I don’t even care about that big dog behind the bar in this restaurant. Cool!”
Fast forward ten years to these pictures below. I was in Paris and I didn’t even react when I saw this dog while we were eating. The dog was in the kitchen and the two American friends I was with were completely shocked to see that dogs are allowed in restaurants. So I’m sharing these pics with you so that if you visit Paris and you happen to see a dog in the kitchen, I don’t want you to be alarmed. It is more normal than you realize.
Have you ever seen anything in a restaurant that completely shocked you?