I have just returned from a holiday in Paris and France. I am a Japanese Canadian so, a visible minority. I have absolutely no doubt that this Japanese woman was discriminated against in Paris - I was myself. I was standing in line waiting for a table. There was no doubt that the Maitre de saw me. I tried to get his attention by saying politely, "excuse me" but he just looked right through me, around me, over me anywhere but in the eye. I was patiently waiting when two French women came up behind me in the line - they were speaking French to one another. The maitre de could not serve them fast enough! and still left me standing. I have absolutely no doubt that this man was a racist. Coming from Canada, I am firstly used to North American service in restaurants - friendly and respectful and, coming from a multicultural society, I have never, ever experienced racist treatment. It was an absolutely gut wrenching experience... I just left. Like the Japanese male celebrity, I spoke to the manager. While she was very nice, nothing was done about it. After my husband and I left the hotel, we got a form type email - the maitre de was one of their most respected employees, etc. etc. It was not the only restaurant where we experienced rude, arrogant, and possibly racist treatment. It got so bad, that we started eating in ethnic restaurants - Italian, Japanese - anything not to have to put up with the rude, arrogant behaviour of Parisian waiters.
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