Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tarnished Eiffel Tower

My photograph - taken from a tour bus.
My visit to the Eiffel Tower the other day was a beautiful experience as I noted in an earlier entry. But it was also depressing. We got there early and were hanging out in the adjoining park, sitting on a bench, people watching. I was immediately focused on the young immigrant guys everywhere in the area selling cheap Eiffel Tower junk to tourists. Most of them were African (from many different countries I am sure) and some looked like they were from India or Pakistan. I wondered what it must be like to be an immigrant from Africa or South Asia, looking and feeling different, arriving or being born into a crazy place like Paris, struggling to earn a living. These guys cannot make much money. They have to hustle all the time, stand around in the park all day long in the cold weather. And there are so many of them, I just don't see that they could make very much putting in a long day of work. It looked like a really sucky, sucky job. I was just wondering if they had to get licenses to sell on the streets like that when suddenly all of these guys starting yelling, rolled up their blankets of junk and ran like crazy across the park. It was then I realized they were all doing this illegally and they were running from the police. Paul caught a little on video. There was a lot more running back and forth around the park, dodging a bicycle cop and the result was one guy getting caught and the policeman taking his stuff. All I could think about was how much that would cost that guy in lost income and again how much it would suck to have to do this kind of work. I felt really sad for these guys and the whole thing made me really depressed.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that's crazy. The sad thing is most of the stuff they are trying to sell is probably made in China.