Friday, July 28, 2006

Who Farted …?

No-one over here seems interested in the Middle East war, the heat wave or the Governments attempt to curb the influx of illegal immigrants. The World Cup is far behind us and the recent news of the Tour de Farce doesn’t even scratch the surface. France is in the grip of holiday season, with real-life taking a backseat for the next month. Minds are turned to 4 weeks of doing nothing. Nowt. Jack shit.

Unless, of course, you’re one of those left behind in the capital and not migrating south on the ‘depart’. However, Paris has it’s benefits during the summer months. Firstly, it’s empty. Really empty. You can easily get a seat on a terrace café, drive around the city and park on street level with comparative ease. Many shops roll down their shutters, sticky-taped notices informing would-be shoppers that for the next month they’re buggered. Local bakeries share their ‘downtime’, guaranteeing that there’s always one open in the area (if the French were denied their daily bread, there‘d be a riot).

I took a stroll at 7am in a cool morning breeze. My apartment is 100 meters from a busy traffic junction which, at that time of the morning, is usually full of nose-to-tail vehicles, veraciously hooting with their drivers yelling obscenities at one another. This morning, I could have walked across the junction with my eyes shut with no fear of being struck by anything 4 or 2-wheeled.

Rue de Rivoli, Paris’ answer to London’s Oxford Street, was also devoid of humanity - a possible candidate to star as a backdrop in a film about nuclear holocaust. Smiling motorists made short work of the numerous traffic-snarling feu rouge.

The dearly departed (holidaymakers, for the cranially relaxed), have done us pedestrians a great service; they’ve taken their 4-legged turd machines with them. There’s no need to walk the streets with your head bowed down, eyes fixed on the next step of your foot. No more tread-fillers … not for another 4 weeks at least.

The café over the road is run by a little Jewish fella, whom I’ve known for a number of years. It’s the local PMU (betting office) which is, by 07h30, normally full of Gauloise puffing alcoholics, pouring over the day’s horse racing card. I’ve nicknamed him ‘Panoramix’. Anyone who’s read the Asterix comic books will know that Panoramix is the druid who makes the magic potion. By lunchtime, the race-goers in the café are in various states of health but most have been invigorated by the magic potion of the local Panoramix.

Even at 08h00 this morning, his place was looking more than a little abandoned.

Sadly, my upstairs neighbour has also jumped ship. Before he went, he switched off his wifi system ... so it's back to my normal disfunctional ISP for the time being. I wouldn't mind, but 3 months he made a point of coming downstairs and giving me his password so I could share his good fortune.

For those of us spending the summer in the city, it’s a time to relax and enjoy the pleasant surroundings. Shame those f**kers have to come back, really …


Sigh … OK, since people are now arguing about the real name of 'Panoramix', here he is for other nationalities: he is known as 'Panoramix' in France, Holland and Spain, 'Getafix' in England and 'Miraculix' in Germany. And, no doubt, 'Bombfirstaskquestionslaterix' in the USA.

Happy now??!!


Anonymous Les said...

Hi Stu,
You've been in France too long the UK version of the Asterix books the druid is called "Getafix".
In the old Roman (latin) versions all druids had a single generic name...."movingtargitx"

Friday, July 28, 2006 9:53:00 am  
Anonymous Les said...

Thanks for sorting out the small, but important matter of Getafix's name....given that he changes it from country to country one does wonder.....hmmmmm...he's not one of Langely's finest by any chance?

Friday, July 28, 2006 10:21:00 am  

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