Dad's Memories

- 27 August 98 - 27 August 98

"Bidets to Bullfights"

c - Arthur J. Langdon -1970

013bb -- Paris - "The Champs Elysee, have I already become a native?" -- 013bb

Paris is three women and always will be.

A vivacious young girl, a real pleasure to see.

A beautiful woman of maturity.

And a gracious old lady - eternity.

The Champs Elysee has to be the only street of its kind in the world. The cars go by in mad confusion, three and four abreast. The sidewalks are wide and a constant parade of people from all over the world is always an attraction. The buildings are faced with sidewalk cafes, and for the price of a beer or a coke - one can sit all day and study the minis, middies, and maxies.

It seemed to be in vogue for girls to carry a dog in their arms as they stroll the avenue. The smaller the dog is, the more points they get, and Poms, Poodles, and Mexicam Mutts are favorites. The winner in last Sunday's parade was a girl who had caught a fur bearing cockroach and proudly petted it as she bumped and ground along.

In the many trips that I made strolling down the Champs Elysee, and, in hours spent sitting at the small tables in sidewalk cafes engaging in concentrated bird watching, never once was I approached by a lady of easy virtue. Which, I was led to believe was peculiar to Paris. Not only because of their numbers, but also because of their charm. This was food for thought and it occurred that possibly I had the natural appearance of a native. This possibility was further heightened when several French speaking people asked me for directions about town. This was silly as the only place I was reasonably sure of finding in the town, was the hotel we were staying at. Perhaps I looked like a French plainclothes man.

This was cleared up, in satisfactory fashion, on the day we left Paris.

I was walking alone, minding my own business, and just excercising my legs and eyeballs when I noticed a rather seedy character walking parrallel with me - but close to the buildings. Still facing the "go ahead" direction, he executed an oblique approach and when very close to me delivered his line. "Monsieur, want to buy some dirty pictures - only fifty francs a pad?" Two pads, each with what were presumably the "piece de resistance" were exhibited on the top. Now, to a good family man, and also a reasonably good businessman a proposition like this is simply revolting. Filthy pictures for fifty francs a pack indeed!! Utterly disgusting! Of course, I did not take them. He wouldn't come down to thirth francs a pack. At least I had established my identity and was recognized as an American tourist. Maybe the ladies of easy virtue from Paris are all working Broadway and Seventh Avenue in New York.

Index - Uncle Art & Aunt Clara's trip to Europe - 1970, "Bidets to Bullfights"

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