In large measure,
the French live in the pastthey are truly keepers of the flame
of their former glory. Often, the centuries-old stone buildings will
have their original exteriors but will be completely modernized inside.
It is hard to imagine the enormous expense of preserving a five-century-old
They continue to live life as in the Middle Ages, patronizing the
little patisseries and markets, even though they have grand supermarkets
in the suburbs. They spend fortunes in restoring the old châteaux
and majestic churches.
A lot of this restoration is done with government money and for tourism.
Very few tourists fully appreciate the lengths the French go for them.
Indeed, they are reenacting a previous style of life for tourists.
Of course, they enjoy doing it.