OUR “C’EST NORMAL” STORY, Remarkably, our “C’est normal” story took place at the Cafe Flore, in the last century, shortly after we had read Gopnik’s essay in his wonderful book PARIS TO THE MOON. We were sitting on the terrasse (which Gopnik explains is not fashionable; it is the upper floor which is fashionable). We ordered salads. One of the salads was crawling with bugs. We discussed this with the waiter. We even looked up the word “punaise” to better discuss it with him. The waiter was adamant, and explained that of course lettuce would have bugs on it—in other words, “c’est normal.” Recognizing the explanation was what Gopnik had predicted delighted us and satisfied us.

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