Sunday, 8 November 2009

City of Confusion

Go, don't go, wait, slow down and stop. It's a daily battle between the city and the individual. Diverted, round and round, sent underground, a dead end, it's where we all end up. The city is in control. Red lights, INTERDIT, the doors are locked, come again another day.

Penalty fine, €180 for leaving a trace of yourself on the streets of Paris without permission. A hidden corner, signs scream out the rules, but they are so easy to ignore when no-one is looking. When one breaks the law, others sneak through the gap behind them. If the city loses control, in the chaos, we all lose control of the city.

But how can we find our way around this city maze when even the street names can't be trusted? Pierre is higher, Pierre comes first. Marie added, an afterthought, a lead-lined coffin in the Pantheon of great men.

12 comments:

ArtSparker said...

It's a noisy old world.

Peter said...

It's quite OK to be critical, but maybe we must also remember that if you leave your old fridge in the street, you just have to call the municipal services and they will immediately pick it up.

... and the best way to get around the city is by walking (+ metro)!

(Sorry, but I felt a need to defend Paris here!) :-)

Adam said...

I don't mean to be critical of Paris. All cities are the same, with responsibilities shared between the authorities and individuals. Clearly the rubbish strewn here is the responsibility of the individual, but in other respects, the authorities don't always help us!

As for the municipal services, yes, there is a very useful service and you can also book them to come round via the internet! Beware though - you must list every single item you want them to pick up. You can put a pile of items out on the pavement for them to collect, but if you forgot to mention the old television, they won't pick it up!

Nathalie said...

Oh dear, that last photo is a shocker! How could they be so mean as to not replace the old sign by the new one?

Nathalie said...

And regarding your comment in Avignon, the label doesn't say "fraise des bois" but "mara des bois", a wonderful variety of strawberries, one of the best tasting ones grown in Provence, along with the gariguette.

Thérèse said...

Someone needs a ladder to remove the first street sign on the last photo...

Adam said...

Thérèse - I might just cover it over with an Invisible Paris sign! There is also another similar one in the 9th, where there are two signs next to each other, one saying Rue Pigalle, and the other saying Rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle. Just as confusing, but obviously without the same message behind it!

Starman said...

What is the meaning of GIG and GIC ?

Adam said...

Starman: GIG = grand invalide de guerre, GIC = grand invalide civil. Basically it means that disabled people have access here.

Ken Mac said...

GPS my friend!

Nathalie said...

Adam, re French breakfast radish:
I've never seen anyone have radishes for breakfast! It must be one of the many amazing misunderstandings between our two people! :-)

TRAVEL.COM said...

The First picture is very interesting. if everything is confusing,how do you get around paris? is walking the best way to get around paris?

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