Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Everything Must Go

Paris iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Everything Must Go ~

Everything Must Go, originally uploaded by Paris Set Me Free.

BONUS: For Street Photography Fans!

In these days of austerity and frugality and threats of a domino effect bail/kick out of the eurozone, one wonders what you can actually buy for the base unit of several hundred million people's currency these days, that humble little coin: the euro itself.

As you can see here, it'll get you a small bottle of water from a Romanian on the Pont des Arts which probably cost him around 15 centimes or less from one of the cheapo supermarkets all over town.

It can still get you a croissant, and a baguette of course, from most, but not all boulangeries as the trend for going up market and up budget continues despite the recession.

It might get you a macaroon of some sort, and there are packets of crisps and chocolate bars which still fall below the €1 mark although a diminishing number of them. The cheapest of the cheap beers can be had for this, again from a supermarket though, and a petit noir, i.e. the smallest of the small coffees you can buy from a café or tabac, can still just about be had at this symbolic price point. You'd better not try sitting down and getting someone to bring it to you though; that could almost double the price of your concentrated tar in a blink!

Magnetic numbers, two of each from 0 to 9, plus the arithmetic operators, in incredibly low quality plastic were among the myriad items of, on the whole, utter crap populating an 'Everything-A-Euro' market stall I passed the other day.

And, joy of joys, if you want to be a despicable unpatriotic traitor you could frequent the fleet-footed young African gentlemen who hover around the Eiffel Tower and Sacré Coeur touting keyrings of my favourite French icon at 4 for a €1 or 13 for €3 - a bargain if you ask me, considering the inflated prices asked by the 'official' souvenir shops and stalls preying on tourists' unsuspecting wallets. Kitch postcards and other knick-knacks fall into the same category.

A US dollar could still be on the shopping list, although a British pound certainly couldn't, nor could a litre of petrol - those were the days... I could go on, but you get the idea.

It doesn't look like we'll be the first to leave the Eurozone here in France, Marine Le Pen not having quite as much influence as she'd like despite her impressive showing in the first round of the presidential elections at nearly 20% of the votes cast.

So I still think fondly of the good old euro which came into play just as I was moving to Greece to get married and divorced, and boy were they proud of their adoption and membership of the common currency then. Unfortunately, some of the things which makes the country and its people so alluring and quaint, such as smoking in government offices and bureaucratic entanglements to make French fonctionnaires weep and chilling in clubs until 5 in the morning and priests in parliament and driving like lunatics also hurts its efficiency and competitiveness, and we're seeing the results of that now.

That'll do. I considered putting a Paypal button here asking for a nominal contribution of... did you guess... as a symbol of your recognition for the efforts I put into writing these pieces for you, but with a minimum commission of over a euro per transaction, well, you do the math and watch me get kicked out of the blogosphere faster than a scruffy Sassenach being booted out of ethereal Ellatha ;~S

And why not...
© 2012 
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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