Day 2- Finding wee-fee

Why is it so hard to find Wi-Fi?  Or as the French say, wee-fee?  Maybe because old town Antibes has no Starbucks or McDonald’s.   Marc, the rental agency owner told me that he thought a restaurant, Le Jardin had it.  I went by there last night- a cute little place with a couple tables under nice lighting situated against the sidewalk.  I asked the lady, “Do you have internet?”  She looked at me like I had just belched.  I tried again, a different way, this time in French of all things.  “Avez-vous wee-fee?”  “Non, non” she said, shaking her head like she could poof me away.  (more…)

Houston… we have a problem. Or… doggie do-do.

There is a major problem in France.  That of the doggie do-do.   The French word for dog is le chien, pronounced she-en.  The ch’s in the french language are pronounced as the “sh” sound.   My word for do-do is chit, pronounced she-it.  Or… Le Chien Chit! (pronunciation: Le She-en Shit!)  What is it with the French people and their dogs???  Has no one heard of cleaning up after your dog?  Chien do-do (3)The answer is no.  All over the sidewalks and cobblestone streets, in front of all of these wonderful, sweet, little restaurants and shops that I’ve been telling you about is smeared shit!  All over the place!  I don’t get it!  I have yet to see ONE person, NOT ONE, clean up after their dog.  And there are hundreds of dogs.

Dogs have a much pampered life in France.  In my next life, if I have to be an animal, I’m going to choose to be a French dog.  They get to go everywhere with their owners.  In the shops (even the expensive make-up and perfume Dogs (6)shops), restaurants, grocery stores, bakeries.  Everywhere.  And it’s even popular to push them in strollers!  Cesar Millan, the dog whisperer, would be very unhappy with that.  I saw one of his programs where the two male owners were in quite a fuss over the aggressive behavior of their miniature Schnauzer.  My guess is that the damn dog knew what a pain-in-the-ass breed it was and was having its own anxiety attacks over coming to terms with that.  But Cesar told the two guys to STOP making Twinkle-toes sit in a stroller, peaking out over the edge during “walks”.  They were only walking themselves that way.  The dog needed to get out and get exercise and expend some of its energy.

In France, the dogs that aren’t in strollers apparently don’t even have to Dogs (7)have a leash.  Imagine that!  You are running errands around town with your dog, going in and out of all your favorite stores, Starbucks, Nordstroms, Wal-mart, and your dog is not even on a leash!  And all of your friends’ dogs aren’t on leashes!  It seems like doggie mayhem!  But not here.  The dogs have learned to behave like their owners.  Very quiet and mildly subdued in their own little space.  Except sometimes, albeit infrequently, those shopkeepers do snap.

Dogs (2)If the dog happens to meander outside, and god forbid, down the sidewalk, the owner just leans out the door and gently calls the dog’s name and says something meaning “come back here, honey” and voila!  The dog comes tip-toeing back.  And then sits by the owner until the owner is finished discussing whatever with the shopkeeper.  Wouldn’t that be crazy if KIDS were actually that well-behaved!

But… what are we going to do with Le Chien Chit?  The French actually have a slang word for shit-  chier! Amazingly similar to chien. Maybe because  when they think of the word chien– they automacially think of all the chier! Asking each person to carry along a plastic bag for picking up after their dog seems unreasonable.  The French seem to be pretty stingy with their plastic bags.  At the stores, when checking out, you need to BUY one!  Dogs (17)It has taken a number of times for me to get the hang of this.  The salesperson leaves your purchases at the end of the check-out counter, waiting for you to stuff them away in your belongings.  They always look surprised and I think maybe mildly irritated when I ask to buy a bag after the fact.  You see, according to them, after they take my money and give me change the transaction is over.  Finis!  And for me to just be staring at my purchases as the next person’s items get pushed into mine and then my asking about “acheter-ing (buy-ing) a sac (bag) is exactly the type of thing to push them over the edge and make them a little snappy.

Since a plastic bag has to be purchased with each store transaction, the throw-away plastic bag idea for each doggie bowel movement may not be a popular concept.  But guess what!  Today, in the tourism office, another one of my favorite hang-outs, I saw something I’ve yet to see!  Definitely not yet in use.  A Pince-a-Crotte!  Which is translated to mean Pinch-the-Droppings!  Quiet the concept!  It consists of a piece of ready-to-bend cardboard inside a little brown bag that the dog owner would use to “pinch” up the dropping”!

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Or the bomb.  I guess if you have a big dog, you would need to carry two.   And then the American who’s writing this wouldn’t step in their chien’s chit!  Fabuous!

On the back of the bag it says in seven languages “I love my dog, I take care of the environment with Pince-a-Crotte”.  If you’re concerned about using too many plastic doggie dippers back in the states, you can contact these people at or on their website at   Man, I  hope their invention catches on in France!

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(Footnote- all of the pictures in this blog were taken in Antibes today.)