The photo above was taken in the entrance to the parking garage beside K-Mart**. I’ve been lax with my anti-pissoir posts but I think this counts even if it’s less durable than iron or stone. For a few months last year I attempted to keep track of all the instances of public urination I encountered. I have a note on my phone titled Public Urination***. I just looked at the list, I think public urination is actually down since then. Or maybe I’m just not out as much or not out in the right/wrong places. So far in 2016, I’m averaging one public pisser a month. Of course now that I’ve said that I’ve probably jinxed myself.
*The sign says: FORBIDDEN TO DO YOUR BUSINESS HERE!
**K-Mart is a Japanese/Korean grocery store and one of my favorite food shops in Paris. They sell everything from sushi grade fish and unfiltered saki to shiso leaves and (dozens of brands of) ramen.
8 rue Sainte Anne
Open 7 days a week, 10:00 – 9:00
***For various reasons this is only a partial list. All sightings are in Paris unless otherwise noted. Re-reading the list reminded me why I started it in the first place. I’d been at a dinner where I was the only non-French person, typically, I was asked what I liked and disliked about living in Paris. My dislikes where: dog shit everywhere and men pissing in public. Everyone at the table said that the dog shit situation was better than it had been but there was a clear divide between men and women as to whether there was really a pissing problem. The women agreed that public pissers were a nuisance, the men claimed not to be aware of the problem. On the way from dinner to our next destination, I was vindicated when I man jumped out of car stopped at a light, ran between our group, and began unbuckling beside an electrical box. He did not actually relieve himself as all six of us stopped beside him and I pulled out my phone to take a picture. The man’s friends, waiting in the car, alerted him to the fact that he was being observed so he zipped up and ran back to his car (probably cursing us). I started the list so that the next time I was told I was exaggerating/imagining the pissing problem I could counter with dates and times. I stopped updating the list one afternoon while strolling through the Bois de Boulogne deciding I’d rather enjoy the park then keep my eyes peeled for pissers.
avenue du General Leclerc
Long hair, drunk, pissed right into the street
Bald man in bright colored sweater with a large dog
rue du Montparnasse
Tuesday, 17 February 2015, 17:30
Peeing against a white van. Brown hair, brown leather shoes, brown leather satchel, jeans, early 40s.
Thursday, 26 Feb 2015, 17:12
Peeing against a Mercedes Vito 111CDI, wearing gray
Saturday, 8 March 2015
12:50: 30s black hair, boots, works for one of the fruit sellers at the Port Royall Market
18:09: 60’s ragged, dirty clothes
Wednesday, 18 March 2015
12:09: Clean shaven, 30″s, black pants and coat
12:12: Second man in less than five minutes
16:06: 7 or 8, red track suit, I probably shouldn’t count boys under 10
No date 19:37
Les Halles blue shirt with thin white stripes, tall, twenties
No date 1:32
Black leather jacket, black pants, neatly trimmed facial hair early thirties. Jules Favre, Lyon
Sunday, 29 March 2015, 11:34
20s, blond, facial hair, jeans. Lyon, rue Gerba?
1 avril 2015 14:17 parish Saint-Vincent-de-Paul thin, jeans, dark hair
Monday, 6 April 2015, Bois de Boulogne
18:46: Blue shorts, beige shirt, short dark hair
18:52: Gray hair, glasses, striped scarf, black pants, black coat, backpack