Friday, September 17, 2010

The Time Has Come... Part 1


I've written many post about the perfection that is Paris... but in reality, Paris is not perfect.  It has it's flaws and it's share of strange characters just like any other diverse city.  I've decided that today, we will depart from the Perfect Paris, and I will describe for you the first of two events Scott and I experienced... it might disturb you, it might will gross you out... but I feel I must tell it.  The truth is always more interesting than perfection, don't you think? If you are easily offended, move on to another blog... now... 
you have been warned...

Perhaps some of you remember this video (click here).   It was exactly as you see it... a PERFECT day, in a PERFECT square, with PERFECT weather.  This square is located right near here...


After filming that short video, we sat leisurely for over an hour people watching.  About 20 yards from us in the middle of the sun dappled square, I noticed a rather drunk, very dirty man sitting on a bench.  He was talking to no one in particular, and had an extra large beer in his hand that he waved around as he talked and weaved back and forth rather precariously.  Most everyone that walked past him, ignored him.  One man sat at the other end of the bench, never making eye contact. The drunk man tried over and over to engage him in conversation, but the man stared straight ahead, never flinched, and left after a few minutes. 

Soon the drunk man dropped his can of beer and it rolled over the cobblestones, and stopped maybe 5 feet away... I saw 'dilemma' written all over his face.  He absolutely would not stand up, so as people passed, he begged them to pick up his beer... finally someone did, and he continued  drinking.  Now mind you, this guy is all smiles and having a grand time.  He wasn't loud, and without keen observation, you might miss him altogether.  Scott had his back to the man, so periodically, I would fill him in on the happenings, or he would turn and take a quick peek.

Next, the man decided he needed a cigarette.  He watched carefully as people passed.  Finally, one very chic couple walked by, he got their attention, and the very well dressed man handed him a cigarette, and even lit it for him!  He was one happy camper.

Now.. the main event... drunk man leaned back a little on the bench.  I thought he was fiddling with his beer can.  All of the sudden he began spewing beer all over the place.  It went maybe 5 ft straight up in the air, arced over, splashing down on the ground around him.  I started laughing and Scott turned to look.  He turned back to me, and said, 

"Teri, that is not beer... he's taking a LEAK."  

I sat there, stunned, in absolute horror.  I am not exaggerating when I tell you this lasted over a minute straight!  How could we be sure it wasn't beer??? Because we could CLEARLY see the instrument from which the spray was coming!!!!  I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry!!!  I was in shock.  Scott's comment?

"Wow, I wish I still had that kind of back-pressure!"

 Life went on around him... talk about a country where everyone minds their own business!  When he finished, he put his instrument away. There was a HUGE wet spot about 5 feet around him.  It sunk between the cobblestones quickly, but as moms and dads and children with their rolling backpacks walked through it, well... it was more than I could take.  We had to leave.  It was so unsettling.
  Scott turned to me as we walked off and said, 

"Teri, you aren't in Kansas anymore!"

9 comments:

char said...

Teri, that is a priceless story. I am hurting from laughing.
It reminds me of our arrival in Paris when I went with Jim on a flight. As we drove with all 12 crewmembers in the van we came upon a man "taking a leak" on the side of the highway "facing traffic." The American born flight attendants all expressed shock. The French born flight attendants did not like at all that we were all shocked. The world continues to be fascinating. We all have our peculiarities!
Char

myletterstoemily said...

that could put me off paris . . . for
a few minutes.

sorry you had to be the witness to
THAT!

still praying for scott. :)

Cathi said...

I was at that exact spot last month luckily I missed that guy...!! :)

Jenny said...

Heehee. I love Paris and yet on almost every visit, I have had this same experience. But you never forget the first time. Yet your experience was definitely quite in your face. Funny though, that when we visited London 2005 and were taking cover from the cold November wind behind St. Martins in the Fields church near Trafalgar Square in a small walk way I noticed people going into what I could best describe were "Polling Booths" (3 of them) that stood in the middle of the walk way. And as we walked nearer even in the cold the smell was distinctly urinal....gulp. I looked to David who had been studying the scene more than me and yes, these "booths" were open air urinals, that left legs from the knees down visible and instead of curtains had metal enclosures over which you could see the tops of heads of the men inside. the English I guess were a just a bit more discreet at least. ONE MORE WEEK For sweet Paree!!--by the way, Scott is hilarious.

High Heeled Life said...

Oh my dear ... we experienced a similiar situation when in paris earlier this year!! I guess all we can do is laugh... there definitely is another side to our dream city .... I took some pictures of the homeless in in the street of Paris .. sometime in the future I will do apost on it.. it just fasicinated me that in such a wonderful city in the world ... such sadness exsisted.. XO HHL

Meagan said...

I love this story. I can't wait for the next one!!

mya said...

When you gotta go you gotta go, and what presence he had plus a lot of beer consumed.
Jenny, in her comment, mentioned the brezzy urinals in Paris.
I have heard that in other countries there are similar relief stations on sidewalks where waiting friends rest their arms on the top of the stall and talk to the people inside - how communal.
Traveling on trains in Europe, my daughter came acoss one that had holes in the bathroom floor - she managed to wait.

char said...

Teri,
I think we Americans should all thank McDonalds for always having clean restrooms every few miles when we travel. I usually try to buy something but when desperate I look for the "golden arches!"
Char

debbie said...

DEAR TERI,
THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT MAKE A TRIP MEMORABLE. I AM JUST GLAD THAT YOU AND SCOTT WERE NOT SPRAYED IN THE DRUNKEDNESS OF THIS MAN....IT HAPPENS EVERY WHERE....THE ONLY PLACE OF PERFECTION I KNOW ABOUT IS HEAVEN.
IT DOES NOT CHANGE MY LOVE FOR PARIS EVEN THOUGH I HAVE NEVER BEEN THERE. I CERTAINLY WOULD NOT LET ONE SPRAYING PARSIAN STOP ME FROM DISCOVERING THE REAL TREASURES TUCKED AWAY IN PARIS....WAITING TO BE DISCOVERED.
HAVE FUN, BE SAFE AND I CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR SCOTT'S HEALTH.
HUGS TO MY FRIEND
SIMPLY DEBBIE

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