So I was completely surprised when this Parisian I was talking to asked me where I was from and I said "Australia" and then there were no further questions asked! I couldn't believe it! That almost never happens. The conversation just continued on as normal.
However, maybe 10 minutes later I couldn't help thinking about it so I brought it up again. I asked, "When I told you that I come from Australia before, why didn't you ask me any further questions?" He told me that because Paris is so multicultural and he realises that (shock horror) there can be people who are born in France who don't look French and don't have French origins, the same thing must exist in Australia! Hurray! Bravo! So my conclusion is that he didn't have a problem with it because he comes from a big city because in almost every other place I've been to in France (and elsewhere around the world) I've been asked these dumb questions...
He said he thinks it's impolite to ask questions like that and it can be seen as being racist... something to do with the past, something to do with the French and the Africans... I can't remember the exact details but it was an interesting conversation.
Another thing I found interesting about this conversation was that he told me he grew up in the 6ème arrondissement, which - according to my knowledge of Paris - is a rather wealthy neighbourhood. It is also quite busy, crowded, noisy etc... and it's for that reason he now lives in a tiny city with a population of only about 6000 people! He says he really likes the peace and tranquility now. Ha!
I told him about my recent trip to Paris and how I went to Galeries Lafayette because I just love looking at the interior of that department store! He told me that Le Bon Marché is even more ritzy and the things they sell there are the top of the range luxe.
We talked about so many different things, it was such an interesting night!