The streets of Paris, lined with beautiful pastry shops, frou-frou dress stores, elegant tearooms, topped with flowers overflowing from window boxes over sparkling windows, have a stench that cannot be covered with the scent of freshly baked baguettes. On every sidewalk, I see the tell-tale trickle of public urination. Usually starting near the wall and moving towards the walkway, the nicest streets in Paris have as much of a problem as the ones with seedy off-track betting (mine). There are free public toilets everywhere! I even tried to get my mom to use one. Not one of my guests has ventured close to one, but I will keep trying.
The French confuse me. They don't like us touching the neatly stacked tomato pyramid, even though we carry around squeezies of antibacterial gel to ungrime our fingers. I rarely see French people washing their hands in public restrooms, How do I know? The sink is usually in a main area, with men's and ladies' toilets on either side. I don't mind, but I wish I didn't need to have daily confirmation of the lack of hygiene here - I ride the Metro, that is reminder enough.
French people are annoyed with Americans and our ever-present waterbottles and massive cups of Starbucks coffee, slurping it down like a baby's bottle, but we usually pee in a public restroom, even if we are at a crowded stadium and have to wait in line for half an hour. OK, maybe I have seen some public urination in Dewey Beach, but it is a pretty rare occurrence. The DC Metro might have a couple of stations that have a less than stellar scent, but the French have us beat for pee stench.
So, the Wall Street Journal reports that the French are fighting back with the Bad Behavior Police! Yay - I hope they spend some serious time at Barbes-Rochechouart Metro stop.
Aren't you happy that I do NOT have a corresponding photo for this post?