I got on the bus, said "Bonjour" to the pretty young woman bus driver (did you know you are always supposed to do that?), punched my ticket and struggled to the back of the bus with my parcels. Wedged into a seat with the bags on my lap, I opened the newspaper and started to read. Several stops later, I looked up. The bus was not moving, even though all the passengers at that stop had already sat down. The bus driver was looking back from her seat to the passengers.
"Madame!" she said loudly. "Madame! Could you come validate your ticket please?"
No one moved. She said it again, looking pointedly at the back of the bus. I felt guilty even though I hadn't done anything. A young girl sitting next to me said to her friend, "Mais qu'est-ce qu'elle est chiante!"["How annoying she is!" --but much ruder]
The bus driver stood up. "Yes, you! The lady in the black coat! We're not moving!" She sat back down with a stubborn air.
Across the aisle from me, a well-dressed middle-aged woman got up and made her way to the front of the bus, where she bought a ticket for €1.40 and validated it before going grumpily back to her seat. I recognized her coat from the window of the Max Mara store on the Faubourg-Saint-Honoré. It cost more than 1200 euros.