Saturday, August 22, 2009

Go figure?!

If you understand French, then you will notice that the sign in the foreground of this photo that I took at Les Invalides says: "ball games strictly prohibited". Now if you take your eyes a little further up, you will probably notice... a rugby ball, surrounded by a whole rugby team! Now try to lay one foot on the grass in the Luxembourg gardens or any other gardens in Paris and I can guarantee you will have the "grass police" coming after you within the next 5 seconds! There are things I will never understand...


  1. RUGBY!

    Just kidding.

    Yeah, I agree with you about those Luxembourg grass police. I was standing at the EDGE of the grass and warned not to take another step!

  2. Interdit d'interdire!

    Yeah, I don't know why the grass is such a big deal. You go up to neighboring countries and they let you walk on the grass. What's up with the grass in France, is it like made of gold or something? I never understood that either. (Never could keep my dog from checking it out, though ;)

  3. Un ballon ou une balle? Is there a difference?
    It's better to play on the grass and ask forgiveness later if the "Grass police" show up!

  4. Jeux de ballon
    Strictement interditS


  5. Eric....

    Thanks for the terrific photo, regarding the grass in Paris. We remember our first trip there, not too many years ago. After a late night on Rue des Recollets, at Le Atmosphere, Eileen and I, the next morning, strolled through Le Square des Recollets. At one point, I noticed some beautiful flowers, and asked my wife to stand next to them , on the grass, for a first-morning photo. At the moment I was going to take a picture, I felt a tap on my shoulder, from a park policewoman, who stated that standing on the grass was not permitted. I then apologized, and at that time the police lady said you are American? Acknowledging that, the police told us to stand on the grass, next to the flowers, and wass kind enough to take our photo. This is one of many our fond memories of Paris, and a story I never get tired of repeating.

    Please don't report this to the local commanders.

    Thanks again for Parisdaily photo, and all the best.

    James & Eileen Fraser
    Morgan Hill, CA

  6. HA! Eric, I photographed the lawns at Luxembourg with and without sunbathers. I laughed at how the French seemingly are so willitng to obey the "signs". So at Les Invalides, they aren't so much ?? OH MY!

    I will add that at Luxembourg i saw two ladies sitting on the grass and the "grass police" seemed very polite in telling them that they would have to move. It's all so "civilized" and I must say that the French police seem so very approachable and helpful and less "military" as in other places.


  7. "There are things I will never understand...."

    Its very comforting to me as an American that our own Frenchman, Eric, is confounded by the grass police. So, here's my take on it:

    It seems to me there's a single overarching mandate secretly taught to bureaucrats all over France: to arbitrarily confound the general population on a daily basis! This then just breeds a smoldering desire in the masses of their victims to have vengeance on the rulemongers at all costs, or, when possible, to at least get over on just one of them and to be able to proudly tell everyone about it over a glass of wine later on. ; }

    Do I have that right??!!

  8. This is just too funny Eric!
    The sign seems rather small, so probably nobody really notices it.

    Hey, I saw some people on the Luxembourg lawn and no grass police around!

  9. ...and did the grass police come and break up the game?

  10. I'll never get it either, Eric! On a Greek islands ferry, I saw a group of guys creating such a cloud of smoke that you could barely read the big "No Smoking" sign they were sitting directly beneath! And nobody said a word. Love your story though, J&amp.

  11. What a striking contradiction in the photo :-)
    And a wonderful story by the Frasers of "grass police" with heart...

  12. This is funny. And everyone's comments are great. Why can't people go on the grass? What will happen to the grass? Who made up this rule? How many acres of grass are there in Paris were people are not aloud? This is prime real estate I guess. I remember when Eric use to give us statistics. We could use some now. :-)

  13. James & Eileen Fraser
    Morgan Hill, CA

    Great story, thank you! :)

  14. And the polimen often watch the match at Les Invalides and seam to enjoy it...!

  15. Amazing shot Eric! So funny!
    Sure that the 'grass police' can be extremely quick; I already had to experience it and I understand : beautiful lawns have to be watched very closely!
    But I much prefer hearing from your interesting story, James, and hopeful!! I like a lot the way you described it.

    All the best to you and your wife :)

  16. There's irony for ya. This reminds me of "No Skateboarding" signs in city parks around here, where the benches rag out your clothes because they are in splinters from the kids performing maneuvers on the seats!

    To the Frasers of Morgan Hill, California: your story added to the enjoyment of this post. :)

  17. lol those grass police make me giggle. How ridiculous though that these gorgeous, strapping men are allowed to kick the grass up with their handsome and rugged rugby tactics, flexing their wonderful and plentiful muscles all over that precious grass. It simply appalls me. ;)

  18. Any lovely bikini clad ladies are welcome to sunbathe on my lawn any time, no problem!
    (Minus rugby playing boyfriends of course - I'll send them round to Lynn's)

    PS - Suzy, I was just kidding too yesterday.
    GF! ET! GF! ET! GF! ET!

  19. It's very funny that you post this picture....we have seen a futbol match here many times and my wife always asks "How come here?" I just assumed it was allowed since it was not a park...little did I know this sign was lurking just below eye level! I won't pretend to understand either....


  20. You must have been laughing when you took this picture, Eric. Thanks for keeping such a fresh and open eye for us.
    And what will be on YOUR crown today, Suzy?

  21. The disparity is probably a manifestation of what I see so often here in So. Calif. -- traffic police seem to be much-more-likely to stop benign-looking compact-car owners than burly guys in monster trucks! No risk, no foul!

  22. This post reminds me of the time I was in the jardin du Luxembourg. As I approached the map of France, I could see a sign on the sign that stated, in large letters, "Please Do Not Wear Shoes On The Map". The next thing I noticed was a woman walking around the map and, you guessed it, she was wearing shoes. Some people just don't get it.

  23. lol Carrie & Drummond - our gardens are going to look fab!

  24. Bécane. Un ballon is bigger than une balle (besides the first one is a she and the second a he!)

    Izatso. LOL En plus il y a une faute. Je n'avais même pas remarqué ! On pourrait leur donner le bénéfice du doute : "Jeux de ballon (c'est) strictement interdit", mais bon, c'est très tiré par les cheveux.

    James. "Please don't report this to the local commanders." Er, I don't know... I'll see... LOL. Nice story, anyway.

    Virginia. Yes, well it's debatable. I suppose they are nicer to strangers because they are not aware of our lawn rules.

    Carrie. About your take. I think it's a little far fetched, but... we have so many rules that at some point we feel the urge to transgress them.

    Monica "Hey, I saw some people on the Luxembourg lawn and no grass police around!" I know in some very few parts of the gardens you can actually lay on the grass.

    Petrea "...and did the grass police come and break up the game?" I doubt it, but I did not stay long enough.

    Alexa. Greece?! Yeah well it seems that the more South you go, the less rules are followed. Can someone explain that?

    Lois. In fact, it's true that the more people walk on the grass the less nice it looks. So I suppose they want to protect the beauty of Paris lawns!

    Lynn "It simply appalls me. ;)" Er, we kinda figured that out, just by the vocabulary you used in this comment!

    Eurostyle. Well, yes, I must say, you need a very good eyesight to see this sign.

    PHX. I was very happy to be able to grab this moment, for to tell you the truth, it's not the first time that I saw ball games there. But I never stopped.

    Starman "Some people just don't get it." Or some people just don't care about the others. If I, me, myself, want to keep my shoes on, what does it matter that it damages the map for the nextcomers? I hate selfishness.

  25. Eric - oops - I think I didn't portray enough of a virtual smile on my face when I wrote that. It was meant tongue in cheek. Either way, thanks for the comment and I'm glad I'm off base!

  26. Haha.. This photo looks kind of familiar ;) You did it much better than me though! Nice work.
    (Nick from Stirling, Adelaide)

  27. Thanks very much for sharing interesting photos and story. I enjoy reading this post.
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