Sunday, October 30, 2005

Nîmes: Ville Propre?

maison carree roof

This week has been chock-full of vacation moments. On Thursday, the whole family packed into the car and we headed to Nîmes. I'm not sure if I've said this before, but Belle-mère prefers Nîmes to Montpellier. She says that Montpellier is a dirty city. (Jube says that she prefers Nîmes because it is about 10 minutes closer to her house.) The mayor of Nîmes has declared war on sidewalk doggy doo--not by fining dog owners, but by hiring a cleaning crew who comes through every day. Every time we go to Nîmes, Belle-mère mentions how clean the streets are, how you can look at the buildings without worrying about dirtying your shoes, and how you want to look at the buildings because even they are cleaner than Montpellier buildings. This is the usual Nîmes conversation, and Thursday was no exception. We walked around the city, window-shopping and picking up le Pacha's Roi Soleil tickets at the FNAC before heading back to the car. As we rounded the corner of a street, the biggest, wettest, most disgusting doggy diarrhea caught our eyes. It had been stepped in several times, so half of the street was infested at a length of about six feet. We all burst out laughing, and Belle-mère admitted that even in Montpellier she had never seen half of the road covered in caca.

As we were discussing this, walking in single file along the right side of the street, a young man passed us on the left. Obviously the mayor's campaign had worked, because he didn't give the street a second glance. Just as he walked by us, his foot slipped in the mess. By chance we had all been looking in his direction (it was the direction of the poop!), and we all saw his leg fly up. He half fell on the ground, catching himself with one hand. We all burst out laughing, but immediately tried to hide our amusement. He blushed very red, and Belle-mère tried to make him feel more comfortable by telling him to play the lottery (I guess that bad luck in one area means good luck in another). As he hurried away, we let our laughter out. I don't think that any other trip to Nîmes will equal Thursday's!

1 comment:

Helene said...

OH NO!! I can picture the horror in his eyes as his hand reached out toward the morass below! I hope he wasn't on his way to a job interview or to meet a blind date!!