Wednesday, 22 April 2009

A word on garbage can theft

The French are thieves. Ok ok, that's a generalization but that's what French people have told me so it must be true.

When I was an au pair, one of the first things my French family told me was never tell anybody about the red Porsche in the garage. When I was living in Paris, my roommate told me to never open the door and let people see inside the apartment. And then, there are the cars. Check every single car parked in any open space in any part of France. You will find nothing in it except maybe an empty bottle of water and some croissant crumbs. The French people learn at a young age that anything visible in the car WILL be stolen, no matter how useless or unimportant. And from the number of broken windshields I see around Lille, I think it's true...

So I shouldn't have been surprised when my garbage can was missing after Saturday morning's trash collection. To be exact, my recycling bin was still in front of the house, but the regular trash can was MIA. So I did what any incensed American would do - I went down the street and checked every single can. But my number 30 can was gone (they all have the house number on them).

We decided to wait until the Wednesday trash collection before we started punching people. When I got home last night, I saw some cans outside. Jerome and Suzanne went inside while I walked across the street. And what should I find in front of number 31? MY garbage can full of their garbage!

Now I'd just like to know WHY they took my can and HOW they really thought they'd get away with it...If it happens again, I may have to tp their house...Mischief Night hasn't come to France yet and I think it should.

11 comments:

Andi said...

Oh man! I have to hear part 2 - are you going to say something to them? Connards!

Rachael said...

Ouf! We switched with our neighbors once but that was an accident. Are the people in 31 usually garbage bag people?

OK, I'm not going to get started on the French and filth, will I? Oh no. It's your blog and I feel your pain.

L said...

This has nothing to do with garbage, but there's an article in The Economist from last week (yes I'm behind) on how bilingual kids are smarter than monolingual kids. http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13489730

Proof your daughters a genius!

Reb said...

I will keep you informed of my garbage can's whereabouts after tomorrow morning's pick up...I am ready for war, NJ style.

Thanks for the link, L!
ha! I knew it! When I was doing my masters, I remember reading a study that said bilingual kids were socially smarter than monolinguals.

Pardon My French said...

Yeah, one of my friends didn't understand why I am so careful not to leave anything visible in our car, even in our town which is relatively safe. We've been broken into twice, and not only did we lose stuff we had to pay the freaking deductible to fix the car. Ouch. So yeah, we are careful.

So did you reclaim your trash can afterwards or did they bring it back?

Pardon My French said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Owen said...

Hi, hope you don't mind total strangers dropping in, but I stumbled on your blog via "Where's My Effing Pony" and couldn't help noticing some points in common...

For example, stolen garbage cans. We too had the garbage can that should have stayed at the new house stolen by the people that sold us the house and moved out... right under our noses. It was only after they were long gone that we noticed, so I was chuckling reading your story here.

Then there's a slight similarity perhaps in origins, I'm from near Philadelphia, but have been living in northern France, well maybe not as far north as you, for 17 years now... as half of a franco-american couple.

And finally your cryptic comment in "about me" saying "fighting against excessive dog excrement", which is a valiant quest in France, if you have a minute to take a look at the post I did today under the title "Serendipitous Doggerel", you will understand why your comment caught my eye, as I was writing about the subject today.

If you had the "followers" gadget on your blog I'd sign up to follow... guess I'll have to just add a link in the blog list... your blog looks like gangs of fun.

wcs said...

Hi Reb! Just wanted to say hi. It's been a while.

And ask: what do you do when you want to throw a garbage can away? I mean, I put it out there every week but the trash guys keep leaving it behind...

:)

And, get this: my word verification is "expat." Cool.

Pardon My French said...

I tagged you for a meme, if you have the time/inclination. And so did Beth. I think that means we miss you.

Also came here to report that some of our neighbors in a neighboring apartment building either "borrowed" or "stole" my husband's bike from our front yard, which they had to unlock to get into (not that it needed a key, but still!). We found it sitting outside their building and are now keeping it inside, dang it. And it is not really a nice bike -- he picked it up from the trash. Yup, you gotta keep your stuff hidden, even if it is completely crappy.

best4future said...

Glad to find another person who promotes bilingual life. Me too! I am a big fun of bilingual education, bilingual parenting, and bilingual life as you are. Right now I am teaching my baby to learn Chinese, hoping she will become a bilingual in the future.

Can we exchange link? My reciprocal link goes like this:

Best4Future Blog: Bringing up baby bilingual!
Devoted to bilingual learning, parenting and teaching!

You can submit your link at http://www.best4future.com/blog and click "links". Thank you!

Reb said...

Wow, so many visits despite my long absence. Thanks for all the comments.

So I did reclaim the garbage can and it hasn't been taken since...they know better than to mess with the angry pregnant American neighbor...

Owen, thanks for visiting. We dog crap fighters must stick together...it's a tough world we live in


WCS, we just left our old ones (well, the old owners of our house's bins) for the monthly encombrants (when they pick up large items for trash). that's what the trash can people told us to do...

PMF, I hope your husband foudn his bike! Also, I will get going on the meme...

best4future, thanks for the visit. I will definitely check out your blog. Having access to other people's experiences has been such a great tool for our bilingual one.

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