Immediately, the garden gnome 'beggar' appears. Near where I live is a plump, neatly dressed chap who looks like a garden gnome. He sits on the street with a one foot high gnome beside him. The little gnome has a bucket jangling from his arm that a person can put coins in if they choose. The man has been sitting in the same spot for as long as I've lived in the area, although he was absent during the much colder months. Obviously. As an aside, I never actually see anybody give coins to the people asking for money although somebody must be doing so. Or maybe not.
Drinking water Vs Peeing.Generally, Parisians take their time when eating and drinking. They will go to a park, cafe or restaurant. You will not see them walking around the streets skulling water or gulping coffee. You will definitely not see them walking around eating. The latter makes me happy because when people walk around eating, they inevitably drop food. More often than not I cannot avoid the mess and it gets on the wheels of my wheelchair. Which is gross.
Usually you never see Parisians carry water with them. Rumour has it this is because there are so few toilets in Paris. Apparently it's easier not to drink fluid than find a toilet. However, as the summer heat starts to rise, and the tourists start to sweat (Parisians really don't sweat I might add), you will occasionally see French hands clutching plastic bottles and actually drinking from them. Summer must have arrived for such a horror to occur.
Some Parisians do pee. Unfortunately.Which leads me to my next way of knowing it is summer in Paris. There is a little habit that only French men (allow me a sterotype here) have and I hope it's because they have drunk too much
Alas it is not just some Frenchmen who have this undelightful habit. During the soccer world cup that went for several
The tourists forget their clothes!
Much like the Emporer, some tourists 'forget' to wear clothes during summer in Paris. These ones are identifiable from the French (and other tourists) by the lack of clothing they wear. While I personally don't think the French natives dress snappily in winter, they are well ahead in style of some tourists outfitted in their summer 'style'. These tourists tend to think it is appropriate to wear as little clothing as possible in the City of Paris in the summer. It's not as if they don't pack a lot of stuff as I wrote here. As they wander around elegant art galleries and the grand Opera Garnier, their bum-flashing shorts and bra straps are at odds with their surrounds. Even in restaurants.
Ok, I know it gets hot here (above a whopping 26 degree C) for at least 12.3 days each year, and I know many places don't have air conditioning, but putting on less clothes than the average person wears does not actually make you less hot. After a day out touring Paris wouldn't you rather go home and shower? Please? Slip into something not showing what you had for breakfast? Paris is a city. Not a beach. Although there is Paris Plages ...
An excellent time to tear up the city? Of course!The city bosses decide that summer, in the middle of the tourist season, is the perfect time to dig up as many streets and roads as they can (to be as disruptive and create as much dust as humanly possible it seems). So, when a tourist steps into Paris in summer they are confronted by many, many metres of hideously ugly green and grey fencing which is meant to hide even more metres of hideously ugly holes in the footpath and roads.
I mean it's not as if Paris doesn't have enough dust as it is without creating more - particularly on extremely hot days with no wind at all. The lovely dust then simply sits around and makes life and breathing just that little bit more challenging than it
Of course, there are many other, um, less realistic indications that summer has arrived in Paris. You can probably read all about them in the same romantically fluffy books I described in this blog post. Of course, when you then come here in summer you may wonder where that Paris is. My Paris is way more interesting. Just a little grubbier around the edges at times. Like me.
*'C'est la vie' - That's life or Shit happens.
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