I thought my first post from Paris would be better than this one. I’ve been taking a lot of walks and saving photos just for that, but that will have to wait.
Tonight, on the way home from a movie with my coworkers I was startled to see some people fighting on a side street. As I turned to look, it became apparent that the one losing was a small girl. She was in a headlock, and her hair was a mess. There may have been punching. I turned around and found another guy to ask him for help in separating the two.
He and his companions came over quickly but wouldn’t do anything. It turned out that all of the 5 were friends and that they were okay with the guy beating up this girl. All of them were teenagers and really concerned.
I still wanted to separate the two fighters, but they stopped me. The girl was on drugs, and her friend was restraining her from hurting herself or the others. This was a lot to take in, so I watched, but my presence was enough to break the cycle of fighting. The girl gets up and starts yelling and throwing things at the guy, who then grabs her again to stop the onslaught.
I suggested that we call the police, but everyone else was adamant that we don’t. They were more worried about getting into trouble than their friend. I stayed long enough to make sure that their story held up and decided that I could do no good. It was harder to leave than to stay. I really wanted to help, but the only assistance I could offer would be to get an authority, which was exactly what they were trying to avoid. I guess I could have brought them some water. They were after that and cigarettes.
I’m living in a very safe and quiet (for Paris) neighborhood. Most people here at 11PM are on a date to a fancy restaurant or just heading home from a show. I didn’t expect to see 5 teenagers, none of them older than 18, fighting in the street. All of this happened, and no one else walking by offered any help or even tried to interrupt what was happening.