he added: but there are no toilets here; its not
The City of Light is playing host this summer to a new breed of tourist curious, cultured and practically penniless Eastern Europeans who have come to the capital in droves for their first experience of the West.
cheap louis vuitton bags from china These tourists do not sit in cafes on the Champs Elysees for hours and sip champagne at $12 a glass; they do not buy leather at Louis Vuitton or $200 scarves at Hermes and they cannot afford to stay in the five star Crillon or Bristol Hotels at about $300 a night.
In fact, a lot of them cannot even afford to stay in the Paris camping high quality replica handbags china grounds at $10 a night for two. Instead, their tents dot the Bois de Boulogne, a huge park along the citys western ridge, their sleeping bags line the Champ de Mars below the Eiffel Tower, and if you see a dusty yellow bus outside the Louvre with underwear drying in the window, you dont really need to look at the license plate to know where its from.
Now Paris Mayor Jacques Chirac says they have to go.
''Despite all the attempts of our services, it appears impossible to enforce the existing regulations,'' the fastidious mayor wrote in an open letter this week to police Chief Pierre Verbrugghe. ''Among its most prestigious sites, Paris is offering a deplorable image.''
The police chief responded with his own subtle reproach: ''It is not possible to definitively solve the problem by police action alone, considering the risks presented by the forced evacuation of foreigners often accompanied by children, and considering the fact that the camping sites we direct them to are almost always saturated.''
After evicting about 65 camper homes from near the Eiffel Tower on Monday and Tuesday, police began in earnest a campaign to dislodge about 300 illegal campers, most of them Eastern Europeans, from the Bois de Boulogne.
But you might have called it Operation Gentle Nudge. Officers told Designer Louis Vuitton Replica Handbags tourists at an illegal camping sauvage site across from the legal campgrounds to leave; the police did not fine them nor will they evict those gone for the day.
''We invite them to leave,'' said the officer fake designer bags in charge, clutching his red and 1:1 replica handbags blue regulation book. ''Its going along nicely, but some of Fake Louis Vuitton Replica Bags them really have problems because they dont know where to go.'' He added: ''But there are no toilets here; its not hygienic.''
To say the least. In the intense August heat, the tents arranged around a small brackish pond bear the faint odor of decomposing trash; wasps buzz furiously around empty plastic bottles of soda; and tourists are deciding where to go.
''The camping ground here is too expensive for students,'' Agata Kravceyk, 22, said in halting English as her boyfriend packed their tent. It took them a month to bicycle from Warsaw to Paris. ''Now we will go to Belgium and Holland,'' she said.
Like other tourists, Kravceyk buys food in Paris supermarkets, and walks 40 minutes from the campsite to take the nearest subway into central Paris. She cannot afford the shuttle bus, which costs $1.50.
Kravceyk and her boyfriend have spent only $100 in Paris in seven days.
No less amazing is the economizing of Slawek Makowiec and his three friends from near Krakow; they hitchhiked to France from the German replica louis vuitton bags Polish border and are spending the equivalent of $14 a day for all four. His backpack holds canned goods from home and a small gas burner for cooking.
But like many other tourists, Makowiec who speaks passable French seems in high spirits.
''We have seen everything,'' he replica designer handbags said eagerly. ''We went to the Louvre, replica louis vuitton Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, La Defense, the Pompidou. We save our money for the museums.''
He planned to take off to Marseille and the Riviera.
Gyorgy Takacs, a 31 year old computer programmer from Szekszard in southern Hungary, was not so lucky. He arrived in Paris in the late afternoon in a dusty red Skoda to find the legal camping ground full and the illegal site taken over by the police.
His long hair aaa replica designer handbags fell over Bruce Springsteens face imprinted on his T shirt and he gazed down dejectedly at his roughly hewn leather thongs. Does he like France? ''I wouldnt know,'' he said. ''I havent had a chance to find out.'' Does he like France? ''I wouldnt know,'' he said. ''I havent had a chance to find out.''
Chiracs impatience with his citys newest rag tag enthusiasts is not surprising; he is replica louis vuitton bags from china known to cherish his role as chief of the worlds most beautiful city, and is credited with making Paris clean and generally efficient.
In his City of Light, the Eastern Europeans stick out like visitors from the Dark Ages. The driver of a dirty maroon and white Autosan bus from Poland parked near the Eiffel Tower is eating jam and bread and sucking a glass of tea. Peanuts and Polish teabags decorate the dashboard.
Nearby is a gleaming Scandinavian double decker Eurobus. It has a coffeemaker and a toilet; video head replica louis vuitton handbags cleaners and stereo cassettes sit in the front window.
For Chirac, the Eastern Europeans are all the more noticeable for the paucity of other tourists in the economic doldrums of post gulf war Europe.
But none of this seems much to dampen the spirits or the determination of Eastern Europeans discovering Paris and the West for the first time.
''Im not worried,'' Makowiec said, when asked where he would sleep that night. ''We will go to the Eiffel Tower and play the guitar. Its so beautiful.''.