I tried my best, I really did. I took my big "be brave, be zen" deep breath followed by the "they-don't-know you, you-don't-know-them" mantra and hit the streets of Paris. More to the point, I took to les rues of the 16th arrondissement where we buy our six cereal and fig bread -- not mixed, two different sorts. (Worth the trip btw.)
Those of you who know the reputation of the 16th might sympathize with me or question my intelligence to start my endeavor in this neighborhood. You would be right on both counts.
Steeling myself, I walked up to a smashing woman -- age indeterminable, but in our vast range -- wearing an over the knee bleached denim pencil skirt; cropped close to the body camel leather zippered jacket and bottines of approximately the same color. Her hair was shoulder-length, blondish and wild, she was wearing big, black sunglasses. I explained my mission emphasizing all the while how gorgeous and chic she was. She stopped, gave me her full attention, lifted her shades ever-so-slightly over her blue rimmed blue eyes, looked into my blue eyes, gave me a withering half smile and said: "I don't think so, not today."
Suddenly I can empathize with those excruciatingly annoying telemarketers. She was my first and last attempt in Paris. I've returned to my safe hunting grounds. Little by little I'll build up my courage, choose another arrondissement and try, try again.
Until then, we're still in the country, although I maintain, tres chic country.