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The Boston Globe


In fight for tourist dollars, Paris softens rude image

PARIS — On a recent afternoon near the Place de la Bastille, Alberto Riberio, a tourist from Spain, stopped with his family at a quaint cafe and asked a waiter if they could sit down. “Look around!” he recalled the waiter replying abruptly. “You see empty tables, don’t you?”

When the family tried to order food in halting French, the waiter rolled his eyes, Riberio said. Later, when a wrong dish was served, an argument ensued over whether it would be changed.

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