Saturday, 5 February 2011

Paris and I ~ 'Pain In The Ass Parking'

iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Pain In The Ass Parking ~

Pain In The Ass Parking, originally uploaded by Paris Set Me Free.

This woman had been parked here from before I arrived, and she was still there when I left. Just outside a bakery, strategically placed, to catch a falling crust or crumb, although most were clutching their baguettes and croissants jealously, after all, it's Sunday morning, Bon Dieu...

From my vantage point, the steps of Saint-Germain de Charonne (observing, not supplicating) I had a clear view of Saint-Cyrile Saint-Méthode, just across the way. Saints seem to be ten a centime around these parts, but another guy, holding an orange cup outside the latter wasn't having much luck.

That must be one of the less enjoyable things about going to church on Sundays in one of the smaller Paris parishes: knowing what to do with your eyes as you look down on the inevitable begger before raising them to the heavens (the eyes, obviously).

I don't know about Saints Germain and Cyrile, but maybe the Saint Méthode is to ignore and be ignored, which seems to be about all the manna the orange cup guy and the dubiously parked boulangerie woman are receiving today.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't give them anything either. I do occasionally, as do many people, but the silent internal dilemma of who to give to, and when, is ever-present and disconcerting. Entering a church with spirit pure or when staggering out of a boulangerie loaded up with goodies would appear to be the ideal moment for a meagre act of charity, but few were putting principles into practice.

Perhaps, like me, they prefer to give a coin spontaneously, occasionally, when something touches them personally, without quite knowing what that thing is. There's our mood to take into account too of course. And what we have in our pocket. And what we were planning or needing to use it for. And what we think it would be used for if we did let it out of our grasp.

In the end it's far too easy to make clever observations without knowing, or ever being able to know all the motives coming into play. Perhaps he has decided that begging is actually quite a pleasant and rewarding way to spend his day. Perhaps not. Maybe she gets beaten by her husband if she doesn't come home with enough to satisfy his booze needs. Perhaps not. We may never know.

© 2011
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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