Danger of morte and merde

Tina 4

The two main dangers in France are death… and stepping in dog shit. I’ve been living here in Villefranche-sur-Mer for nearly two weeks now and I’m shocked that I am still alive. I’m even more shocked that my shoes are clean.

It’s time for a short French lesson. It is important for the story and also so you know that I have not wasted my money. I have actually learned something. The term in French for the quantity of zero is “pas de”. The French word for alot is “beaucoup.” Got it?

There are “pas de” sidewalks here and the roads are so narrow that one person and a motorbike can hardly pass each other. Pas de sidewalks makes for extreme danger of morte. Each day we walk up a hill as steep as Mt Everest with our arses flat against the retaining walls on either side of the road. The drivers take absolutely no notice of us but in case you think the French are heartless, they are very careful of cats that sit in the middle of the road.

This is the cat that the French drivers prefer over us. Side note, she followed us home. I think she thought I was her mother with my sexy faux fur.

Meanwhile as we ascend the giant hill every morning and return home each night, we negotiate constant dog poo-landmines. It is as if dog shit is a type of asphalt here, there is so much of it. There is beaucoup beaucoup dog poo. I’m just stunned that I haven’t hit one of the mines as I leap out of the way of the Formula One drivers who seem to live here.

But after two weeks, the danger seems as normal as speaking only French for eight hours every day. Very challenging but also very rewarding when you are successful.

4 thoughts on “Danger of morte and merde

  1. Oh the dog poop.😊 and French drivers! Hope you have found a nice patisserie at the top or bottom of that climb.

  2. The quantity of dogshit is still one of my abiding memories of my first trip to Paris. More recently not so much. But maybe the poo bag hasn’t reached the regions yet. I was always displeased yet amused by the piles of steaming doodoo under signs that said pick up after your dog. Which of course the French ignore like everything else!!

  3. Agh, Bali is so similar I’m the footpath department with enormous holes and missing chunks out of major thoroughfares for weeks on end. But never fear: there is probably a bit of cardboard on a stick saying “Hati hati” (Be careful), or even a road sign saying the same, which are placed on roads and footpaths every 100 metres, I’d say. It kind of loses impact, but I guess they need to buy them in bulk. My butchered advice for all occasions involving road travel was “Hati hati, not mati” (mati being a serious word for dead, as with morte).
    PS I personally think the response of the cat was not the fur coat but the facial expression of a fellow youngest child/kitten.

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