The Paris of today certainly has its charm—never been there myself, but people I've talked to seem to think it's so—but is it?
There have been complaints in the past, that when one walks around town, one has to literally watch where one is going lest one steps in Number Two… as in dog poop - not human poop, though who the heck knows, maybe there's some of that down there, too.
That image above... I'm thinking dirty thoughts, but the place doesn't look dirty... It's a French law that one out of every 19 people has to cart around a garbage can with them every where they go.
There was also that whole thing about Muslims… and the terrorist attack… and well… Paris has had an image problem.
And now the Japanese are adding a bit of fuel to that fire.
Claiming the streets of Paris are dirty and insinuating that that is one of the reasons why Japanese tourism has dropped off, Tokyo-based tour agencies sent representatives out on the streets last weekend to pick-up/remove litter from the streets around the Eifel Tower and the Trocadero gardens.
|Uh... it looks pretty clean to me...|
Apparently Paris does not have a Stoop and Scoop law for do poop like we have here in Toronto. I used to be able to have my chocolate labrador carry damn near everything in his mouth, but he would never carry a bag of his own poop, leaving that inglorious task to myself, proving once and for all who is the smarter species and perhaps why man needs a new best friend.
Now… that whole Paris dog poop thing - that was perhaps true, back in 2001 and earlier. French Poodles were defecating willy-nilly, and those gay Parisans didn't give a sh!t, leaving steaming piles of you-know-what lying about for Vespa's to run over or open-toed sandals to squash.
Now… here's the thing. Paris has, in recent years, "actually become one of the cleanest cities in the world," says some anonymous Paris City Hall spokesperson. Gotta love the media.
|Parisian fashion? Hard to believe, but this dress looks good. Only $4,000. Kidding. No idea. $0.47? Just for the dress, mates... just for the dress.|
I'm going to point out that it still took over five years for Paris to come to grips with its losing bid on those Olympics… perhaps longer.
I hope Paris doesn't really believe it didn't win because of its filthy streets. That might have been a reason, to be sure, but it lost because it didn't have as good a proposal as London did… and London certainly ended up presented/hosting a wonderful Olympics.
In light of the recent FIFA scandals, perhaps the right amount of graft wasn't presented… or perhaps it wasn't presented to the right people.
There is also that stereotype of the French being rude. I've never been to Paris or to France, so anything I say is pure hearsay.
|It is a long way to the top... of the Eifel Tower, but watch out for giraffe poop.|
Yes, the French butts did require saving, but afterwards, those doing the saving have NO RIGHT to expect to be treated like Gods… and perhaps the French could have been more grateful… but that's not my generation, not any of my business, and I have no way of knowing why the notion of French rudeness became a thing that exists to this day.
If it were true, why do people still go to France?
Why do people return from France and say they had a great time?
Why did Japan send over some 600,000 tourists in 2015 alone?
If it's so rife with rude people, how can a city like Paris still be considered a romantic hotspot?
It's like Japan… ya can't believe everything you hear… except maybe in this blog because I tell it like it is, with both sides getting a fair shake.
Japan? Business-suits. Thick glasses. No one has a sense of humor. People die from overwork. Japanese girls want to have sex with foreigners.
Yes… there is all that… but most of Japan isn't like that.
|Oh look! A Japanese stereotype in Paris.|
And a sense of humor? Maybe I just lucked out and met the best and funniest gang of misfit Japanese ever, but no… the Japanese have a sense of humor. Maybe it's not as good as yours. Maybe it's better than mine. The point is, they like to have a good time. All those stupid Japanese videos… they are stupid for a reason. Ha-freaking-ha.
Which leads me back to our Japanese travel agents going out to clean up Paris to make it more palatable for the Japanese tourists.
Look… if the Japanese travel companies want to further clean up Paris - good for them. If it makes things even a lot cleaner, Paris has nothing to complain about.
HERE) about five months ago (exactly five months ago), whereby Japanese people come back from a Paris vacation and suffer some sort of nervous breakdown after developing a feeling that Paris is ugly, dirty, non-romantic and full of rude people in a dirty city.
And yet… Japan seems to be the only group of citizenry that suffers from the Paris Syndrome.
A weak mind? Sure. They tend to build up some romantic ideal in their heads… a promise of Eden… something to look forward to when they can finally take a vacation from the long hours of work they put in… and then, when Paris doesn't match their preconceived ideal… pop goes the weasel of their mind.
So what is it? Is it the fact that the Japanese find the French rude?
I think the French find visitors rude when people visiting their fine cities don't make an attempt to speak their language to them or follow their social customs.
I think every country hates it when visitors don't at least try and fit in.
|Wait! Is THIS the Paris that Japanese people found dirty? Paris Hilton is the blonde with the big mouth. She ain't pretty, she just looks that way.|
Now… that snobbery is rude. But dammit, I'm sure you've heard Germans or Indians or whomever speak English with an accent and had an internal chuckle. The trick is to not show displeasure/rudeness with those doing the speaking.
Cleaning up Paris' streets is one thing… but how do you help the Japanese get over the rudeness (it might be imagined, it might be real)? Rudeness kills romance…
I mean… Japan goes out every little while to clean up its cities and towns… meaning that there are plenty of polluters out there causing the need to have things cleaned up.
I don't think the travel reps going out onto the streets of Paris is anything more than PR (public relations)-thing to show the would-be Japanese travelers to France that places like Paris ARE clean.
Americans used to come up to Toronto and marvel at how clean it was. I always though that was funny. The places I've been to in the U.S. looked pretty clean to me.
I've been to Japan… and its cries about cleanliness are pretty amusing considering it sends teams of people out to pick up garbage every few months in its own communities.
Ever been to Singapore? Holy crap… clean, attractive, friendly people - just don't litter or you might end up in jail or receive a caning. While I love the country, there's an underlying 'fear' to ensure public cleanliness. I'm unsure if that's good or bad, but you can argue with results. Er... can't argue with results.
|Sophia Vergara in a French Maid's uniform... oh... Sophia... where's the fishnets? Oh well, at least she does windows and will dust your bedsheets, too.|
Yeah… you know what I mean,
Andrew "Stick out your can, 'cause here comes the Garbage Man" Joseph
PS: That line between my signature was something I first heard back in 1974, when Louie the garbage man was first introduced on the Chico and The Man television program. Louie was played by Benjamin Sherman Crothers - aka Scatman, which has nothing to do with poop - who also did the voice of Hong Kong Phooey, the dog superhero.
|Scatman Crothers - best smile ever!|
PPS: Each episode of Hong Kong Phooey would begin with Rosemary calling the police to say: "Hallo, hallo, police headquarters, this is Rosemary, the lovely lassie with the classy chassis." Pure dog poop or comic genius, I used watch this 1974 animated program and enjoyed the show.
PPPS: I first saw Sophia Vergara in 2007 in the TV show Knights of Prosperity and have been trying to leave my wife ever since. Even I am impressed by how much dirty stuff I tried to include in this blog. But that's okay... Paris was synonymous with sexual revolution back in the day before I was born, though Brigitte Bardot might say otherwise.
PPPPS: And... I didn't even mention the term "French whore house" once... dammit!
PPPPPS: Thanks to Matthew and Takako for the friendly heads up!