July Sunday on Avenue de Sex Shops

Trip Start Mar 07, 2005
Trip End Aug 14, 2005

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

July Day in Paris 10th July 2005

Walking along what I have fondly named, 'Avenue de sex shops' on such a warm yet breezy July Sunday, I appreciated the wide promenade lined with trees either side, it conjured up something Parisian about the arrondissement I live.

On my way down to check if by chance Monoprix was open, I took the pavement route walking past each of the shop windows. As I grew closer to small groups of guys or the lone men, they would appear to be looking nervously at the advertisements of each sex shop, trying to let anyone see that they were looking at how much the latest peep shows costs, against the competition. They walked like strolling with out any care, no preoccupation with why they were there, and suddenly they had manoeuvred carefully into the sex shop. Just slipping behind the red curtain that masked what lay inside.

Monoprix was shut, why had I forgot that the most shops are shut on Sunday? Rue des martyrs is the exception to that rule, the fishmongers, grocery, fruit shops all are open. Not only are they open, but the street itself is closed to traffic on Sundays, police traffic stopping anyone that may try to drive up the long road in the 9th across the avenue de sex shops into the 18th... with the Sacre Coeur posing in the sunlight, bright white stone stood proudly on the top of the hill of Montmatre.

I walked back down the promenade centering in the Boulevard Clichy aka Avenue de sex shops. Dimanche in Paris is interesting. Tourists mingled with the Asian/Arabian community and the drunks sat around one park bench. Twice I passed those toilet booths to watch both times, the tourist entering their euro or whatever it costs, to be struck that the door would not open or the money be returned, probably in their desperate need to use the toilet, the anger then intensified as they pushed all the buttons with much force, to the point they were banging the toilet very hard. This provided the drunks some entertainment on this Sunday afternoon.

More lone men, unshaven, dark skinned walked the promenade of Boulevard Clichy, a sharp contrast with the tourists looking clean, khaki trousers and backpacked normally with a map outstretched in front of them that you could not see their faces.

It was the usual suspects on this Sunday warm day, except the bottle blonde Madame. I suspect she could have been in her former days, a lady of the night, who knows, but now she walked the promenade like it was a catwalk. Bottle bleach blonde, styled in large curls and a pink ribbon tied round the front of her hair. From her hand I followed the leash down to the also blonde curly haired poodle. It was a typical size for a French owner's pooch and just big enough to fit into a handbag. I thought of the signs I have seen many times and smiled. It depicts a dog in a handbag, with a circle around and a big green tick next to it, yes on Paris buses if you are riding one with your dog, put it in your handbag!

So styled perfectly that the pooch had a matching pink ribbon on its collar. The lady kept walking with a little bit of effort, in her 2-inch stilettos. Legs long, but wobbly and knobbly and need of a rest I am sure. With no supermarket open, I headed for my grocery store to buy milk for 1.50 Euro, the price to pay to live off Rue des Martyrs.
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