Poodles in Paris
|Chiracs are commonplace in Rue Cler.|
By Rick Steves
Lying in bed on a lazy Paris morning, I wake to a comforting buzz and "phoop." It's a Chirac, spotting and sucking up a poodle turd on its search-and-destroy mission down rue Cler.
As an activist mayor of Paris in the 1980s, Jacques Chirac created a small army of mobile pooper-scoopers. Known as "Chiracs," these motorcycle vacuum cleaners doggedly patrol the streets of Paris. Rue Cler is a wealthy neighborhood with more than its share of poodles. Chiracs are commonplace.
Stepping to my window, I see him methodically making his way down the street — that soldier in green. He parks his motorcycle next to a dropping, covers it with the vacuum nozzle, and phoop, the poop is gone. After an appendage soaps and rinses the spot, the Chirac — proud of a job well done — motors on in search of the next road hazard.
I love Europe — Chiracs and all.
This Spring, I'll be flying back to Europe with a special focus on the big and glorious cultural capitals: Rome, Florence, Venice, Paris, and London.