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Séjour en France. Cha 10. Space

Updated on May 16, 2011

When we were in Paris Mike had said his room was small, very small. I didn’t go up to see, but a few days later in our hotel room in Becanson, I saw what he meant.

That first morning in our Becanson hotel room, we were woken up by a knock on the door. It was the cleaning staff wanting to put our room in order. We summarily shooed them away. “Go away,” we said. We didn’t need clean sheets or clean anything. We needed sleep. A lot of sleep. We told the staff we would take care of it, everything, whatever it is, we'll take care of it. Just don't come back. We went back to sleep and that was that. We woke up when it was time to wake up.

When we finally did wake up and took a look around in our hotel room, the room size was just as Michael had said his was in Paris. Small as can be; functional, with just enough space to get done what was needed. Our room has a double bed with a bunk above it. On the other side of the bed was the bathroom. To the right of that a small inset with a writing table, chair, and a tv high up above it. All tightly compacted, with hardly a foot to spare in any direction. Felista said she felt as if she was in a submarine.

Photo courtesy of Premier Classe Hotel website, Besancon, France.
Photo courtesy of Premier Classe Hotel website, Besancon, France.

Open the bathroom door and right in front of you is the toilet, and you have to step inside before you are able to pull the closed behind you. One half step to the left of the toilet is a sink. One half step to the right is the shower. Above the toilet and just to the right is the soap dispenser within easy reach from the sink by reaching over and across the toilet with your right hand, and just as easy a reach from the shower with your left.

The shower head slides up and down on a bar. This is all a perfect example of how they use their resources. Nothing wasted. Every inch of space efficiently used. Another is their toilet flushing system. There is a choice of two buttons to flush. One uses less water than the other, depending on what is being flushed down. And wherever I have been in France, I have seen that repeated over and over again, in homes, in café’s, here at the hotel. After finishing a shower, it is easier to towel off by stepping outside the bathroom for room to freely move arms and legs.

Hotel Premier Classe

Photo courtesy of Premier Classe Hotel website, Besancon, France.
Photo courtesy of Premier Classe Hotel website, Besancon, France.

Opening up the door to the outside, and stepping onto the 2nd floor walkway, looking just across the street, a neighbor's house is close by. No matter where you look, space is used for just what is needed. Small road, small driveway, plenty of room for the garden. Another case of using space for what it is needed for and nothing more.

Conserve, conserve, conserve, that must be a mantra people are taught out of the womb. And keep things clean. I have seen it everywhere. In France, people live in a clean environment, a clean house, clean everything. I have been told France is dirty, but I haven’t seen any of that anywhere.

Whether it is here in Besancon or Paris, from the time I arrived in France, I noticed right away how aware the French are of their environment and how they care for it. One of the most obvious ways is how they care for the trash and recycling material. Wherever you are standing or sitting, there are trash and recycling receptacles within eye-view. Two purposes combined into one. There is one container for trash and right next to it a container recycling stuff. Mainly these are bags mounted on a post and held onto by a ring.

Recycling trucks, green, of course, tended to by men dressed in green, are constantly on the move.

Another obvious use of their attention to saving resources is that so far I have only seen two US made cars, and, as Pete said on our first day here, “Not an SUV in sight.”

And there is yet another way the French use their natural resources, and that resource is space, space occupied by lots of grapes and lots of beauty. Can’t beat that.

Keep it clean and keep it beautiful. What an awareness of environment. And the beauty is what stands out the most. No matter where you are, it is an art show. Paris, and France, is one great art show.

The beauty I have seen in the few other places I have been in France, are wonderful, but Paris, what a gem.


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