From the outgoing NY Times Paris bureau MAR 24 2008
From the outgoing NY Times Paris bureau chief, eight lessons in the ways of the French.
A doctor I know told me he once bought a coat at a small men's boutique only to discover that it had a rip in the fabric. When he tried to return it, the shopkeeper gave him the address of a tailor who could repair it - for a large fee. They argued, and the doctor reminded the shopkeeper of the French saying, "The customer is king."
"Sir," the shopkeeper replied, "We no longer have a king in France."