Expat Magazine

Anomalies of French Life: the Firemen's Calendar

By Sedulia @Sedulia

Pompiers-cal-2013
Brigade of Sappers and Firemen of Paris. Life belongs to you. PRESERVE IT! Have the right reactions [the inside of the calendar is full of tips on safety and school holidays, but alas no cute firemen]

The other night, just as some friends from Colorado walked in the door, I saw H slipping some money to a man I didn't know, who was standing behind them. The man said, "Merci beaucoup, Monsieur," in a businesslike way and went upstairs. Since H, to the say the least, is not someone who normally gives money to door-to-door solicitors, I was a bit surprised. But he came inside with this calendar in his hand. Of course! It is time for the Christmas calendars!
At this time of year, the firemen, post office workers and garbagemen of Paris make the rounds of apartment buildings selling their calendars. The money goes to their associations. This is strictly speaking not legal, but the concierges and the city turn a blind eye. However it's interesting that the policemen don't do this. It would no doubt be considered intimidation, but I bet the cops think that's unfair! P.S. If someone wants the calendar, send me a note and I'll mail it to you. 

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