We have seen some interesting things around the City of Light. Not everything is captured by a photo, but here are some instances I have witnessed with pictures. I find some of these amusing, while others are different from the American culture.
On the pedestrian friendly strip of rue Rambuteau there is a crazed bird man who loves feeding pigeons so much he is ready to attack anyone who dares enter his circle of frenzy feeding to the sky-rats. He picks up garbage scraps and feeds them to the pigeons. Once we witnessed him ostracized a little boy who entered his circle. The poor little boy walked towards the pigeons like any curious child would with any animal, and as soon as he did, the man was yelling and screaming at him with scolding eyes and one hand rose as if ready to strike. I don’t know how that didn’t make the boy cry, but his father had to take him away immediately. This crazed man caught the attention of many people nearby, and we still see him on other days when we’re passing through.
Metro Shopping and Entertainment
There have been several occasions where we have seen grown men selling winding toys of puppies walking and barking and of other colorful toys and gadgets; but what is surprising to us is the produce stand beneath the streets and inside the tunnel of the metro stations. Sometimes these tunnels can be full of surprises. Aspiring musicians are often singing or playing an instrument of some sort, and people congregate to show interest.
Some individuals have provided entertainment on the metro by dressing in costumes and dancing to the audience; others have played musical instruments, and recently we saw a woman who sang “La Bamba” and other songs with her own DJ system. She wasn’t bad, and it was quite entertaining.
These local authorities make our local police officers in the states look wimpy. These men are fit and husky, and they look like they mean business. They also drive small cars, which can be a little comical at times when they’re yelling at local civilians as they’re trying to get by in traffic. I also noticed there are a number of female officers as well, which is more than what I’m used to seeing back home.
We have noticed a number of buildings crooked or slanted from old age or from the shift of the earth. I think it adds character to the buildings.
There are both free and paid public toilets around the city. We have used both, and sometimes it can be a guessing game — you don’t know what to expect. I have used a toilet where there is a hole in the floor and you have to squat; ones where both sexes are waiting in the same area while a male has a little corner to go do his business in front of everyone, and ones where there are no toilet paper or sink to wash your hands with. When we’re out and about now, I carry tissue and hand sanitizer with me just in case…