Friday, 28 September 2007

Violence...why?

The French - actually, the entire world - complains about violence in America. Granted, there are lots of guns which would equate to more murder I suppose (fill in the blank with scenes from "Bowling for Columbine" with an entire salt shaker). But although there are less guns in France, there sure is a lot of theft and assaults. Every French person I've ever met is so extremely worried about people seeing the inside of their house, taking public transportation after 7pm and not leaving anything at all visible in a car because it could get stolen, even the most useless, worthless thing.

I don't have numbers. I just know that there is violence here. And it might not lead to a shoot out but my poor pizza guy, who is so very nice, definitely doesn't deserve whatever happened to him.

Jerome went to get pizza last night and found a note taped to the door saying that they were temporarily closed because Denis had been assaulted...I hope he's ok soon. I think I'll bring him some brownies when they reopen.

5 comments:

Laura said...

This might be the first time I've left a comment, if so, your blog rocks and I love reading it. I'm another American, married to yet another Frenchman and living in Paris...........but apropros to your story:

I have another American girlfriend here who's husband works for the govt. The reason you don't really know about crime figures is because they are kept secret! The only reason I knew there was a serial killer, um, let me say that one more time....a serial killer operating in my 'hood is cause she told me. But apparently there is no cause for alarm, as he's only targeting homeless people!

I had another friend who was attached in the 16th by two kids who apparently just wanted to hurt someone, they kicked her squarely in the back so she went flying down the sidewalk, but didn't try anything else with her and didn't try to steal her purse. There's definitely plenty of violence in this country, but they just keep it secret.

I just walk the streets of Paris thinking about street smarts the whole time. I'm far more careful with displaying signs of wealth - wedding ring/designer bags - that I ever was in a million years in New York. But things are just fine if you do this. However, my worst fear is being attacked and calling for help with no one to come as I truly believe in a dangerous situation that most french people would mind their own business and not intervene.

Anyhoo..............

Reb said...

Laura - Thanks for your comment and insight.
I know what you mean about being more careful here than in Paris. When I went out at night in Paris, I'd just say to myself "I'm from New Jersey, nothing can happen to me." And so far it hasn't which is why I get all freaked out when French people won't take the metro or bus...

Deb said...

We Americans love our statistics, the French....not so much. I think they should start though. I mean, unless living with blinders on is actually better than seeing the problems.

Anna said...

Very interesting comments...Especially the first one. I always thought it strange that unlike in the US France doesn't report much local crime news in the paper or on tv yet everyone is always so afraid to leave their cars on the street and everyone lives shuttered and walled in. They seem to like instead to show how "bad" and "unsafe" it is outside of France....For example in the US!

frog4america said...

Anna, your observation is totally accurate.

For decades the french media have obsessively reported on anything that went wrong in the US, distracting the public's attention from what was going on at home. Hey, good thing we ain't nothing like those violent, racist yanks, huh !

I believe the most delirious example is how the freakshows at Paris city hall have made Mumia Abu Jamal a citizen of honor of the city of Paris, when France is light years behind the US in how it treats its own minorities. Pathetic.

But I want to believe that Sarkozy will help change that, it's one of the main reasons why I voted for him.

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