I had a hilarious conversation with a plumber who came to fix a roof in the leak. I realise that this blog is about the trip to Jordan, and I am still telling stories in France, but it was too good to pass up sharing this one.
So if any of you have lived in an apartment in Paris or have been to our apartment, the building is rather old. Leak insurance is a MUST in this town. It is to protect you from a) leaking roofs, and b) asshole neighbors who seem rather blasé to the fact that they are giving you a shower in your living room.
So our neighbors, the lovely parisiens that they are, don't seem to be apologetic at ALL for leaking water into our apartment 5 times in the past 2 years. They are now on autopilot. Whenever I knock on their door, they immediately say 'its not my fault' without even knowing what I am there for. I just tell them I would like to borrow some shampoo for the shower they gave me.
Well, it finally stopped leaking after a year and its time to repair the water stained ceiling. The plumber who fixed their leaks came over to inspect the place. I think secretly he hates their guts. It didn't help that this time he went there and their baby vomited all over him. I think he was ok though... he's a plumber so he's used to being covered in gross stuff.
At the end of his inspection, we offered him coffee and cake, just like they used to do in the sixties I hear. To our horror, he was so pleased with this that he started to share with us... Adventures in Plumbing!
He has a rather warped sense of humour, which to my guess is something you have to have in this profession to get by. This is the best of my recollection and translation of his stories from French...
'I'm warning you, think TWICE before going out and eating in a restaurant. I have YET to see a restaurant in Paris without cockroaches. I've been to the Champs Elysees and finest restaurants of Paris and I've seen cockroaches in all of them. The chefs don't really care about cleanliness either. One time, I went to a restaurant and had to unblock some toilet pipes. I went into the floor, dug up the old pipes and put on my gloves to reach in and unblock the pipes (meaning he reached into the toilet pipes). When I finished, I took my gloves off and put my tools away. Somehow, one of my gloves dissapeared. Evidently, the chef mistook it for his glove and started grabbing steaks and throwing them on the grill! To my surprise, the guy didn't give a damn and just served the plates to the customer! One of my other customers told me he can't even remember the count for how many times he pissed in the salad dressing! When my wife tells me she wants to eat in a restaurant, I tell her Noooo Way. I'll only eat at Mcdonalds. Now THAT is the cleanest restaurant I've ever seen in Paris. Everything is wrapped up and the employees dont touch a thing. I'll only take my wife there, and I will never touch a beef steak at a restaurant again.'
So there you have it folks. The gross underbelly of France exposed. Kitchen confidential meets parisien plumber in todays ajaanib.