my sweet, stinky Paris

Champs-Élysées. Photo from Wikimedia

In the recent innumbered days, working like a mad squirrel on something that might be called a ‘media library’ for the globe cleanup thingy* –  I’ve come upon several jolly things. And I’ve had it to my eyes and ears with copy-pasting text, and taken it up again (because creating libraries is so, so much fun).

And then I crossed that ingenious article about us in the Economist (and my professional cretinism says that the site runs on Drupal; true/not?) and for the first time, I read the comments.

One of them goes like that:

I’d be happy to see World Cleanup descend on the 16th Arrondissement of Paris where there is a growing glut of discarded Christmas trees cluttering the pavements. Then again it may militate for biodegradability…

…and it gave me a good, good laugh.

For I am quite certain that wherever on Earth I happen to go, I will always remember my sweet, overcrowded, noisy, stinky Paris. It is not something you can forget. Especially when you’ve done your very best to avoid it for a couple of years, but still stay just around the corner all the time.

* this, now, was supposed to be a clever diversion to avoid getting caught by google alerts that are catching everything else related to that globe cleanup thingy for me & the library



I’m in my choir rehearsal again. A nice offline weekend – for once – to take my mind away the e-mails, problems and innovations that I’ve been going through, all the while waking up to the thoughts of what I would need to answer, and even dreaming about the html code, sometimes.

But even the choir weekend is over soon. Just before I step out of the door, one of my fellow singers looks upon the badge on my coat. It catches her eye. World Cleanup 2012, she reads, and asks me to explain. Oh yes, I’ve blabbered about it now and then to people, but the concept is still not clear, or maybe it’s just too outrageous.

So I say it all again. Illegal garbage. International. Teams. Cleanups. A lot of work. A lot of fun… and sometimes, no sleep.

What exactly are you cleaning, she asks. Beaches? Parks? Or what?

I stare at her incredulously and choke out the only answer, the only correct and rightful answer I know, because in reality, I cannot even imagine the outcome, but this word just embraces it all: everything. Everything. We’re going to clean the whole world.

She stares back at me even more incredulously and says: you’re making a revolution?


She’s French – if she says so…