On my way to central Paris from the airport, apart from seeing some proper French kissing, I had the opportunity to get a glimpse of the minority groups in France. At night, the streets of Paris are believed to be full of huge black guys in hoodies, and I was witness to this. What I found really interesting was the large number of Arabs on the streets, the several shops they owned and the businesses they enjoyed. I think Arabs in France are as large in number and as visible as South Asians are in Britain.
More intriguing is the presence of the Mexicans, who not being welcomed in the States, so they flock to Europe for better opportunities in life. For the Spanish-speaking Mexicans, it is easy to learn French; hence many choose to immigrate to France. While looking for a metro station, I met a Mexican girl who was somewhat familiar with Persians. She told me that she had first moved to Britain for work and then relocated to France. She used to work in a Persian restaurant in Brighton, but she got fired after a few months! Since this was not a pleasant topic for her, I instead spoke about Mexican food and praised my Mexican friends in Britain (see my Mexican Tostada). I then tried to talk about the Mexican presidential election, but soon understood that she had been so out of touch with her home that she did not know what was happening there.
Right after midnight, the streets of Paris became frighteningly deserted. Being in such a situation, I knew that I must not give others the impression that I was not a local as I had almost all my possessions in my bag. It was difficult to find someone trustworthy who also spoke English, to ask for directions. I was a bit confused about finding my way. Suddenly, I saw an intimate couple speaking in Persian. Assuming that they would be busy with each other and would not cause me harm, I approached them to help me find the closest metro station. They too advised me to hold on to my bag firmly. This was the first time ever that I asked for help with directions from an Iranian outside Iran. In Paris, if you are from Iran, you never want to talk to other Iranians, because historically, France has been a destination for Iranian political exiles and asylum seekers. They comprise various groups, ranging from Islamists to communists, and anti-royalists to those opposing the current regime.