Walking in Paris can be a dangerous adventure. I am a very slow walker, tending to stop and look at buildings, plants, other people and traffic. People fly past me, obviously in a hurry, shouting pardon as they knock me aside. I thought this was just because I'm slow, but I read in Talk to the Snail, by Stephen Clarke, who has lived here a number of year, that this is normal behavior.
I don't know if it comes from my Scandinavian roots, but I don't like to be touched by people I don't know; I don't even like them to enter my space bubble. It is actually painful when that happens. We lived more than eight years in Italy, and that was something I never got used to. People talking right into your face. I know that some feel this is intimate, I feel it is intrusive, and an assault on my person.
Some good books I have read on the French and the Parisians: The Secret Life of France by Lucy Wadham, Talk to the Snail, Stephen Clarke.