February 29, 2008

Do you walk on grates?

Posted in Daily life, Les français tagged , , at 11:58 pm by Lauren

Since moving to Paris, I’ve noticed that French people will go out of their way to walk around grates in the ground. There are large blocks of grates, and some of the spaces under them are quite deep. Now, I understand not walking on a grate if you’re wearing high heels, but do the French have some other reason to avoid grates?

I usually walk right over grates, except when I’m wearing heels, which is approximately never. Walking home today near the Port de Plaisance in the 12th, I was shivering in the cold as I approached a grate that was emitting a warm wind. I brightened at the thought of walking over a warm grate, so I was looking at the grate as I approached. And BAM! That grate stopped me in my tracks because there was lighting down below, and I could see just how deep it was. I had to remind myself to start moving again, but the experience definitely made my heart beat faster.

Do you walk on grates? If not, why not? Fear of heights? Superstition? Love of stillettos?



  1. I don’t mind walking on grates. However, I don’t know if I have ever walked over one that large or deep.

    Out of pure superstition, Teresa won’t walk on the international sign of accessibility in parking spots!

  2. Scott said,

    I guess i’m the defiant (stupid) one in the family. I always have, When I was a kid I used to jump on them just for the noise they made. Used to scare some of the older people to death. I hadn’t really thought about that in years, I still walk on them unless they really look like they’re ready to collapse.

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