Monday, February 27, 2012

Reflections - keep your eyes on the ground!


Squish, squish, splat! That's the symphony of sounds that Stephane and I used to hear during our evening walks in Cassis, France some twenty years ago. Tiptoeing on concrete mined with dog pooh (splat!) and slow moving snails (squish!) prepared us for the relatively clean sidewalks of Paris. At least that's what I thought until I was momentarily distracted by the Eiffel Tower last night and forgot the all-important dictum, "Never look up!" Weaving my way through the hordes of tourists, my eyes were resolutely fixed on the ground until the fateful moment when I allowed myself to be captivated by the reflection in a bus window. Splat! Chalk up another one for the dogs of Paris and their thoughtful owners.

Dragging one leg behind me as I scraped my soiled shoe on the cement, the words on the side of the bus seemed to mock me. More comfort - really?


Last night was also a flurry of activity as I finalized my travel plans for the week. I'll be in Geneva until Thursday, back home for a quick celebration of our one year anniversary of living in Paris at the end of the week and departing for Boston on Sunday. As always, my laptop is going with me. I may catch up on the backload of posts about things that I've been doing in Paris or I may write about my travels. I just wanted to let you know that I should be safe from dog pooh for a while and will use the opportunity to take my eyes off of the ground from time to time.

Sometimes you see the darndest things when you look up -- like cows! The annual Agricultural Show is in town until March 4 and according to everything that I've heard, it's well worth a visit. I may try to go on Friday.

21 comments:

  1. Oh dear! I'm proud to have remained dog-poo free since being in France, but I do follow the rule of never looking up! I must say, Paris seems way better than other parts of France. I amused myself by counting the other day on the way home from the gym, I can't remember exactly now, but I think I spotted something like 11 different "leavings" in the space of about 1.5 km!

    Have a great trip!

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    1. Ssshhh, Gwan! Don't provoke the dog-pooh gods! I, too, was starting to feel pleased that I had avoided all of the mines and that's exactly when they got me. :-O But more seriously, 11 gifts on the pavement is a lot to contend with. I'm thankful that the Parisians have gotten better about cleaning up the sidewalks.

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  2. Boston, next week? Green with envy.
    As for the image of a cow, did you know the theory that one sees a cow or picture of one EVERY day? I have found this to be totally true and your post today means that I have seen my Monday cow.
    Have a safe trip to both Geneva and Beantown.
    nancyb

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    1. I've never heard of the daily cow theory before but would have definitely believed it when we were living in Switzerland. I'll have to see if it holds true for Paris. When I took the photo of the cow on the billboard, a Parisian man told me that I REALLY have to go to the Agricultural Show. He went on to say that Parisians are crazy about cows.

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  3. Isn't it a new law to pick up after your dog? Even if they don't do it. And I love the rolling car vacuum cleaners they use on the street to pick up the dog poop. Crazy though.

    And if you do go to the Fair, you'll maybe have to watch your step there too--cows are notorious.

    Safe travels.

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    1. Regarding the cows, I heard from some friends who went on Saturday that someone walks after the cows with a tray to catch the manure before it hits the ground. At first, I thought that I had misunderstood and that they were sweeping it off the sidewalk. They assured me that they were truly catching it in the air! I wish that dog owners would follow their example.

      You're right, there is a law that you're supposed to pick up after your dogs and most of the dog owners in Paris are good about following it. Unfortunately, others aren't as good.

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  4. Aak!! Sorry about the splat but guess it's a fact of life in our beloved Paris.

    Hadn't heard re daily cow but will now be on the lookout!

    The challenge of blogging: so many possible posts, so little time ... whatever you choose to write about and photograph will be great.

    Cheers and happy travels :)

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    1. Yes, I knew that stepping in dog pooh was in my future - it was just a matter of time! At least it's not as bad as it used to be.

      Safe travels to you, too. I see that you're on the road again!

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  5. Yes! The Salon l'Agriculture is a don't miss, not only for the wonderful animals and agricultural product displays but also for the regional food exhibits, wine purveyors, and spontaneous songs and other shows of regional pride. Don't miss the Bretagne oyster shuckers or the fresh foie grilled with onions and served on a crusty baguette.

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    1. It sounds great! Thanks for all of the tips - I have a real weakness for foie gras and will be on the lookout for it if I go. I was surprised to hear that there were 678,732 visitors (general public and trade professionals combined) in 2011.

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  6. Oh no! Nothing worse than the dog poo. But i do love the photo of the puddle/reflection. Very pretty.

    Safe travels this week and I can't wait to read about the Salon l'Agriculture. Not sure if it's for me, but maybe I'll check it out??

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    1. Thanks, Kristen! According to what I've heard, the show isn't only for people who like cows. Like Catt said, the atmosphere is supposed to be great with lots of regional specialities. I really hope to go - it just depends how quickly I can take care of everything that I need to do before leaving for Boston.

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  7. I can't believe you lived in beautiful Cassis - I'm dying to visit that area!

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    1. That entire region is beautiful! I have such good memories of walking on the cliffs and looking down at the sea. Unfortunately, we didn't really live there - we were only there for about 3 months when my husband was doing a "stage" in the area.

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  8. LOL!LOL! Bon voyage and happy travels. You have inspired me to go out and about in Manchester. No dog poo here though, mainly they put it in little bags. love denisefrombolton

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    1. I'm so happy that you're blogging, Denise! It will be fun to hear about what you discover while you're out and about in Manchester - in between your visits to Paris!

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  9. Dear Mary Kay,

    I started reading your blog about a month ago and I love it!
    I went to Paris for the first time in 2001 and can't get enough of it.

    My husband and I will be there in September for the fifth time.
    I keep a little black book next to my computer for all your useful information and tips.
    It must be glorious to wake up every morning in Paris.

    Petra du Toit

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    1. Welcome! - and thanks for leaving a comment. There really is something special about waking up in Paris. I always feel like a kid in a candy store because there are so many things to do. It's making the choice that's the hard part!

      Even though I'll probably be posting more about what I'm doing while traveling than about Paris, I'll be back to blogging about Paris when I return home in mid-March.

      Happy planning - September is a beautiful time to be in Paris. At least it was last year.

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  10. Beautiful reflections! Sorry it had to come with a price, but at least you got the shot. :)

    By the way, Kerouac put together some nice photos of the Agricultural Show.

    http://anyportinastorm.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=paris&thread=5730&page=1#130983

    Have fun in Boston!

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    1. Thanks for telling me about Kerouac's photo report. I always enjoy seeing his pictures and haven't made it over to Any Port in a couple of days.

      I'm embedding the link in case anyone else wants to see it without having to copy and paste.

      Please click here to see photos of the Agricultural Show.

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