I must get in a word about Parisians. I was visiting Paris in 2005 with my friends when the following incident took place.
On our last evening in the city, we were late in returning from a visit to the Eiffel tower. We were tired as all restaurants near our hotel were closed. We walked through the neighborhood, starving, searching desperately for succor, when we noticed a quaint little restaurant in the corner. The glass door was closed, the chairs had been put up, but a small light was on. Seeing us peering, a man came out. My friends tried to communicate with him in English, but he flatly refused to humor them. At their request, I rather self-consciously asked him in my halting French whether the restaurant was open or not. The moment he heard the line in French, his demeanor changed. He welcomed us warmly, put down the chairs, (the restaurant had been closed and we were the only guests), and he took our order and made the chef cook a wonderful dinner of chicken and salad for us. We could not thank him enough. This incident is one which I recall with great fondness. It was a lovely lesson in shattering of stereotypes; we made an effort to respect his language, and he went out of his way to reopen the restaurant just for us and fixed us a dinner.
Great memory indeed!