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At night the policemen would only come through the street two together. And yet amid the noise and dirt lived the usual respectable French shopkeepers, bakers and laundresses and the like, keeping themselves to themselves and quietly piling up small fortunes. The rooms were small arid inveterately dirty, for there was no maid, and Madame F., the patronne, had no time to do any sweeping.The walls were as thin as matchwood, and to hide the cracks they had been covered with layer after layer of pink paper, which had come loose and housed innumerable bugs.
A succession of furious, choking yells from the street. They shut up abruptly ten minutes later, when a squadron of cavalry rode past and people stopped shouting to look at them.
Madame Monce, who kept the little hotel opposite mine, had come out on to the pavement to address a lodger on the third floor. How many times have I told you not to squash bugs on the wallpaper? Why can't you throw them out of the window like everyone else? I sketch this scene, just to convey something of the spirit of the rue du Coq d'Or.
Near the ceiling long lines of bugs marched all day like columns of soldiers, and at night came down ravenously hungry, so that one had to get up every few hours and kill them in hecatombs. The rent of the rooms varied between thirty and fifty francs a week.
Sometimes when the bugs got too bad one used to burn sulphur and drive them into the next room; whereupon the lodger next door would retort by having his room sulphured, and drive the bugs back. The lodgers were a floating population, largely foreigners, who used to turn up without luggage, stay a week and then disappear again.
Quarrels, and the desolate cries of street hawkers, and the shouts of children chasing orange-peel over the cobbles, and at night loud singing and the sour reek of the refuse-carts, made up the atmosphere of the street.
It was a very narrow street — a ravine of tall, leprous houses, lurching towards one another in queer attitudes, as though they had all been frozen in the act of collapse.All the houses were hotels and packed to the tiles with lodgers, mostly Poles, Arabs and Italians.At the foot of the hotels were tiny bistros, where you could be drunk for the equivalent of a shilling.They were of every trade — cobblers, bricklayers, stonemasons, navvies, students, prostitutes, rag-pickers. In one of the attics there was a Bulgarian student who made fancy shoes for the American market.From six to twelve he sat on his bed, making a dozen pairs of shoes and earning thirty-five francs; the rest of the day he attended lectures at the Sorbonne.If you don't like your first match, simply press next.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating