'How pleasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare that after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.' No one made any reply. She then yawned again, threw aside her book, and cast her eyes round the room in quest of some amusement. — from Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (1775-1817)
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July 2, 2012

Pieton ordinare, maison, perdu, s'il vous plait




Many are the ways Paris allows you yo caress and cross her, but the most becoming being often by foot. Gone are the days when the Romantic poet Gerard de Nerval paraded his lobster on a leash, but you're quite welcome to see how far you can go with your own lobster or lover by your side. Although you are perfectly in your rights to walk where and as you please, you'll have much more clout in any dispute or passage if you walk very carefully into your local mairie (housing the government that administers each arrondissement) and apply for a permis de pieton, a pedestrian permit. This document comes in numerous classes, and if you think it likely you'll be taking bolder steps one day, it's best to arm your legs with one of the high-class permis, which are attractive and can be framed to hang on your wall when you return home to your cabernet sauvignon and your brie. So here are your principal choices:  pieton provincial (provinvial pedestrian), pieton prive (private pedestrian), pieton maison (house, or at-home pedestrian), pieton ordinaire (ordinary pedestrian), pieton perdu (lost pedestrian), pieton confondu (confused pedestrian). The last two are the most popular with tourists, and allow you to sit in a special line at any Bureau de Bouleversements you tumble into seeking shelter, succor, and whereabouts. It's usually the longest line, but because chairs are part of the treatment, you'll hardly notice the hours slouching by. Pieton maison is a category you might consider if you are subletting an apartment for six months or have otherwise managed to extend your stay that was supposed to be three weeks, for le p.m. can sometimes expedite your trip up six flights; rather than wait for the elevator, you may take the stairs.

from Paris out of hand  a wayward guide, by Karen Elizabeth Gordon

{painting by Andre Renoux} 




8 comments:

Joan Hunter Dunn said...

What a lovely way to start Paris in July.

bibliolathas said...

"pieton perdu" - that's me! Lovely post.

Mystica said...

I'm following the meme and not just the posts but the photographs are amazing.

michelle said...

What a lovely post! Love the painting, too. I have an almost exact photo version of the same scene taken while I was wandering through Montmatre looking for another particular set of stairs. :)

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I'm afraid that I tend to be mostly a pieton confondu!

*I'm off to Paris! Here's my
Paris in July post.
Please stop by and leave a link to your Paris in July post(s) so that we can stop in and say hello.

Paulita said...

This is funny. I've been to Paris a dozen times and never thought to get a pedestrian permit. I think confused (but loving it) pedestrian describes my state most of the time in Paris. I've posted a few Paris in July posts if you want to take a look. Here's Mine

Esme said...

What a lovely post.

Nan said...

Isn't this just wonderful!! Oh, to actually be there.

Thank you for visiting!

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