I'm currently in an interesting situation would like to perspectives on this issue. I approached a cafe in Paris. The cafe is busy, however, there was one empty table. Two women occupying two tables and three chairs. One chair for each of them the third chair holding their purses, etc, and the empty table holding their used espresso cups. I asked if someone was sitting at the empty table. They were clearly miffed at my question, for now they had to hold their own stuff. My question is did I do something wrong? Did I break some unknown social rule. I'm perplexed. But I got the table and currently enjoying the salad of the moment. I appreciate any insights given.
Paris is marvelous need I say more. Last day of my two week vacation. Can't wait to return.