Place Charles de Gaulle Etoile. Mondays– these are tough on everybody, but this morning it’s especially so for the train driver operating métro line 1. His driving (yes, it was a he) was anything but tranquil, like those driverless trains. Today’s voyage was a series of high speed take-offs and violent squeaking lurching stops. Entering this station, he slammed the brakes so hard it flung a well-dressed young woman sitting on a side banquette from her seat. A mix of shock, fear, surprise, anger, disgust, and wide-eyed embarrassment shot over her face as she flew past the central holding rail which she deftly grabbed on with one hand to avoid hitting the floor while the other clutched her handbag and her skirt. By the time the train came to a full stop, she had recovered both wits and vertical position as she went to sit back down, with legs folded and knees together.

Such is the poise of a Parisienne.

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