Fool for France

Friday evening on the Metro

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We were invited to dinner across town, so we hopped in the Metro and look what we found.

You may have been reading about the chaos that is Paris, these days.  Strikes and demonstrations by cab drivers,  farmers, transportation workers, miscellaneous disgruntled people,  you name it. Add to that the shootings and now, this soccer thing, really, it’s bad.

Behind me are lager louts, lager cans in hand, shouting at the top of their lungs. Before me you see ordinary folks who just want to get home for dinner, realizing that for the next month,  this is their life.

The Parti Socialiste, who run Paris, and everyone who thought importing tens of thousands of drunken budget travelers,  all at one time, would be a great idea, should now and forever lose their rights to limos and motorcades. There is much to love about this city but they seem hell-bent on destroying it. Not long after this soccer thing ends a major cross – town transportation artery will be closed. The mayor’s own environmental impact reports say this will create utter chaos. But of course she will have a motorcade. She will never have to deal with it.

It is good to have a house in the country.

8 Replies to “Friday evening on the Metro”

    1. The plan was to spend winters in Paris and the rest, seven or eight months a year, at the house. That’s pretty much out the window now. We’ll just have to see how things play out.

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  1. The way to deal with a city is on foot. When I lived in Manhattan, and even when I was in Brooklyn, I would walk rather than ride the subway. Sure, sometimes you have to go far late at night, and then I’d take it. But during the day, I walked. I even walked to the hospital to deliver my kid–from Wall Street to Union Square.

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    1. Paris is small. It is a great city to walk in, no question. I figured one rant at a time, which is why you didn’t hear about all these guys marching down the Champs-Elysees, behaving about as badly as the guys on the Metro. Many of them brought families. Mom and the kids are generally well-behaved but there are tens of thousands of them, much worse than normal tourist numbers. Plus there are all the people crowding into the Fan Zone, which makes Trocadero and the Champs de Mars a true no-go zone. Reasonably safe, but do you want to subject yourself to that? I cannot overstate how clogged Paris is. If you wanted to get, say, from my apartment to a hospital near my friends’ apartment, seriously, you just wouldn’t get there. You’d find yourself having that baby on the sidewalk.

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      1. Yuck. I was in Paris during the ’98 World Cup, including when France won, and it wasn’t that bad. I went dancing and couldn’t get a taxi and ended up walking from the Left Bank to Montmartre in the middle of the night/early morning–alone (I had good walking shoes–dancing shoes in the bag–and stuck to side streets). Not a problem. Sounds like the crowds have gotten more out of control.
        Carcassonne is a lot calmer.

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        1. Yes, Carcassonne is calmer. I stayed in the old city at the height of summer. It was fine. This is not. There has been talk about how the police are shocked to discover that some soccer fans drink heavily in public and that this can lead to fights and bad behavior in general. I guess they are just not prepared for it, plus they are stretched thin anyway. In winter I sometimes wonder why I got myself into this house thing. In summer it makes more sense. Right now, I wish I were there.

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    1. Paris is such a wonderful city. I wish people, most of whom should know better, seem so intent on trashing it. My next rant will likely have to do with the mayor’s habit of building out the parks. The smog in Paris can be atrocious but the mayor is cutting down trees.

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