Rubbish on the Streets of Paris

Strikes leave Paris in the Merde!

by Ruby Brown

Having only just written about the misery of the rain and floods in the City of Light! I cannot believe I am back here again projectile vomiting my disdain of our current living conditions in Paris.

Put simply, it is bloody horrendous

Just when the frowns, of the natives of Paris had been turned upside down, thanks to the floods subsiding and the sunshine basking the city – we now have strikes. The trains are on strike, Air France is on strike but even more frustrating the garbage men are on strike. 

Imagine living in Paris when the rubbish has not been cleared off the streets for a week. Consider, piles and piles of it lining every rue of the city. It is appalling.

The sun is beating down on the city, like an obsessive 3-year-old endlessly banging a new drum they’ve just been given for Christmas, and the heat is curdling this mountain of tat, resulting in the most gruesome smell, like decomposing fruit or rotting meat.

Honestly, I wish I could describe it in a more poetic way but I can’t!

Living in Paris

The smell is attracting, as you can imagine, the most hideous vermin and now for the first time I totally understand why living in a ground floor apartment in Paris, which I do, does not appeal!

One of the joys I’ve had the pleasure to indulge, since arriving in Gay Paree, has been flinging open the window shutters of my street-level Parisian Apartment, to let in the light and chatter with local shopkeepers who are used to seeing my usual, smiling joie de vivre. But now, if I do so I will not only be inviting in all sorts of unwanted loathsome guests, but my miserable ‘boat race’ (face – in UK cockney-rhyming slang), would be visible for the world to see – my cover would indeed be blown!

But I am not alone! We are all in this depressing state of rancid hell, together.

A promenade through the rues of Paris has now become some kind of olympic assault course for those who actually have to leave their dwelling for work, errands or school pick up. Now we must weave and leap our way around mounds de merde. Of course we gather speed to somehow escape it, but only find ourselves confronted with another hill of hideousness around the next corner.

Someone bring me a surgical mask purhleeeeze!

Here’s the thing! I get the reason for the strike. The plans to reform the labour law here in France, making hiring and firing staff so much easier is definitely worth making a stand against!  I for one would probably  be standing in line with them, fighting for my rights and trying to improve my economic status.

Up the Revolution? I’m all for it!

But the consequences!

The impact on the every day citizen, the sight of the giant green wheelie bins spilling over with rubbish and the extensive trail of boxes and uneaten food sacs strewn along the street, torn open by over zealous dogs and kicked by careless and pissed off pedestrians! It is just too much to bear.

Living in Paris

The desire to sit in a local restaurant, supping café creme  – en plein air, has plummeted in the ‘things that must be done in Paris’ to do list! And my kids, my children… having to endure it all! No chance of a bike ride, you can forget that! If it carries on like this, they may need some kind of inoculation!

C’mon Holland –  strike a deal, there is only so much that one can take.

Fortunately, I have no plans to travel by plane or train anytime soon, and obviously feel sorry for anyone affected by those strikes but….

…i am thinking of driving to Spain! It’s only 8 hours to Barcelona and the fresh air inhaled during the journey will be appreciated more than ever…..

As an aside, why is the French word for garbage/rubbish Poubelle! Pronounced “poo-bell”! Pou means louse and belle means beautiful. Isn’t this an oxymoron? Poumerde would be much more fitting!

Oh, MLP can you offer any escapism from this! I suspect this one is a challenge not so easy to overcome!

PS: After experiencing living in Paris this last week, I will never take for granted that I am in a city where my street gets cleaned every day – sometimes twice! However, despite knowing this, it doesn’t stop me from being royally fed up with Paris right now!

Love, A disgruntled Mama in Paris

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Read Ruby Brown’s last article.