It is possible to talk for endless days about the niceties of Paris, but one major problem here are the dog turd infested pavements creating obstacle courses only the observant and agile can navigate. This is not just a Parisian problem, but one that seems to plague France as a whole. The fines are rarely enforced; the French have no incentive to clean up after their dogs and well, here in Paris I think a lot of them are simply too posh to scoop that poop.
Fear not for I shall not subject you to any photographs despite my temptation by a particular gravity defying, vertical construction, rising up like the leaning tower of Pisa on my way to Lidl last weekend.
For the most part the art of safe passage is a subconscious affair. The eyes briefly scan downwards taking in the next six or seven metres of pavement before you (this can vary depending on whether other city dwellers obscure your view), and then you can walk forwards in moderate confidence before the process repeats. Occasionally you’ll see evidence of doggie doo victims: a large skid mark at the source and a pattern of diminishing patches where the victim has tried to remove the obnoxious filth from their shoe.
The problem is really quite severe with some pavements completely littered with the stuff. This becomes an even greater problem for those poor folk with pushchairs, white sticks, wheelchairs, or when dragging a trolley back from the supermarket. In the autumn when the leaves fall from the trees you have to refrain from walking over them or romantically kicking them about for fear of what lies beneath. When it snows and many feet turn the pristine white flakes to a brown slush you never quite know if you’re walking over mucky snow or a snow-merde slush puppie surprise.
You can glower all you like at a French person walking away from the scene of a crime, you might also try to reeducate them in the errors of their ways, but do not expect them to take it with good grace. The brown knolls of foul odour will adorn the streets of Paris for years to come.