Thursday, April 22, 2010

Paris rats

Believe it or not even the worlds most charming capital has its dark side. The council estimates there are around 8 million little rodent residents here in Paris. What?!?!
And the worst part is that their favorite reproducing time is right about now, spring to summer. Who can blame them? It's warm, sunny and it's Paris.

Therefore don't get shocked to see them around when you're sightseeing. They're mostly around the Seine and other canals. Our first encounter was when taking a nice walk around the Trocadero garden, which is right in front of the Eiffel Tower, after you cross the Seine. About six rats were chasing one another from bush to bush.
Since then I started taking this issue seriously. I also started hearing more people telling rat stories. I will soon change flats, hence my increased worry over this matter.
When choosing a new place you have so many things to deal with; starting with the looks, price, positioning and ending with really finding an available one that suits you. And now, on top of this, you have to take rats into consideration. For me the rats factor goes straight to the bottom of the pyramid. If the building has some, the other perfect qualities do not matter. I can only imagine the conversation with the real estate agent...
From what I see the city is doing their best, spring after spring they launch awareness campaigns, they provide what is needed to fight them, but bottom line is authorities cannot barge into your kitchen, cellar or back yard and do the job for you. The community has to do it. At best they can fine you with up to 150euro if you  refuse to carry out the recommendations - on cleaning up the area, correctly disposing of rubbish or closing up access holes, for example.
For all you animal lovers out there, if you're looking for a tiny addition to your family, we have hamsters, guinea pigs and, of course, Ratatouille.

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