Last Sunday evening after dinner I was walking down the road in Paris when I saw an old colleague from Peru coming the other way. "How's things?" I asked. "I left my hotel this morning and there were so many people in the street, I went straight back to my hotel until now. It is too crowded!" He replied.
Before In Cosmetics, a couple of clients asked me how things are in Europe.
Well I guess it depends upon your perspective. But one thing is for sure: there are a lot of tourists in Paris.
A dear friend let us use an apartment near the Bastille and there was a bustling market this morning; so many people buying and selling, you would think everything is great.
Last night, however there was a group giving people free food in the same location and the line was in the hundreds. These were not just homeless, most were well dressed, but still hungry.
On Saturday we walked a market for miles that looked like many people had cleaned out their house and brought anything they didn't need with a hope of selling it. More austerity.
At In Cosmetics there was optimism. New projects are on the way, business is promising and I met a lot of old friends in new jobs.
One client from Italy, a country that doesn't get good economic press, said that while some companies were having problems, many were not and his company was looking for real growth this year.
So, how's things in Europe? I'd say pretty bad, but I hope the optimism I saw will help to lift the economy out of the doldrums.