The french do not seem to take the drinking age seriously. Walking through the streets Paris at night, looking for a decent place to eat is a relatively simple task. Choosing a place is the difficult part… If someone is a vegetarian, or if they do not have a particular taste in a certain type of food, it can make deciding difficult. Finally, we found this humble restaurant tucked between two shops on a cobblestone street. It looked perfect. So, we went inside and found a table. We were sitting, waiting a few minutes for the waiter to come to our seats, listening to the woman playing upbeat music on the piano and singing in the corner. Then, the waiter came around to us. We chatted for a little as he asked us where we were from, being very social and welcoming. Then, he asked us what we wanted to drink. We all said water. He, politely, said no. Puzzled, we asked why? He asserted that we were all to order the wine if we did want an authentic dinner in Paris. We told him that we were underage (most of us by only a few months.) He said without pressuring us, “Underaged? As long as you are over two years old then it is legal to drink here,” So, we agreed and ordered wine and enjoyed it with our dinner. I thought, in America, there is no possible way that would have happened. It is absurd to think about. A simple drink with dinner can set two cultures apart and that interested me greatly.
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