Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Modern-Day Hit Squad

It is a well-known fact that Paris is full of scooters and motorbikes. With the amount of cars and vans blocking up the city roads, it's seem the most efficient and cheap way of negotiating the busy boulevards and avenues.

An example: you will need to pull €8 out of your pocket to fill the tank of a 125cc scooter, which should buzz you around town for at least a week. If you have a 4x4 or a 4-door saloon, it'll be closer to €80.

There used to be a rule that said that 'you can park your bike wherever you want, so long as there's a 2 meter gap top allow pedestrians to pass'. No more, it would appear. The use of scooters and motorbikes is growing at an alarming rate to combat the ever increasing blockages around the city. The Mayor has built '2 Roues' ('2 Wheel') parking spots around town but they are too few and often filled with abandoned bicycles and scooters.

So, on a wide pavement with 2 meters to spare, there's a line of bikes, neatly parked and not scattered about the place. The Hit Squad make their move. Once there are a sufficient number bikes on the horizon, they telephone the removal men and start issuing parking tickets. Three trucks turn up and each take away two bikes. A race bettween ticketing and removal. It seems that if you have you bike attached to a post, or something solid, there is no way they can take it away as they now have sets of 'little wheels' for moving anything that isn't tied down. The bastards.

I know of a bike that sits all day almost in the middle of a pavement in the 8th Arrondissement, a space wide enough for 2 people to walk, yet it receives no interest from the Hit Squad. On a wide and less-busy pavement, you're screwed.

Take a look at the above photograph - even the passers-by can't believe how petty the authorities have become. However, It tells us one thing - a left-over from August 1944: the Nazis never really left.


* Update *

24 hours later ...

You lucky, lucky bastard ...


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