When our French friend told us that Paris smelled like pee, we laughed. After all, Paris has been romanticised to death. It is the embodiment of class, and maybe a bit of arrogance.
It really did smell like pee. And we actually saw men peeing on the sidewalk. Twice.
In the daytime, we just avoided stepping on anything that resembled a pee puddle’s stain. No wonder the French cafe staff are always washing the ground in front of their stores.
It’s funny, because Paris has some of these futuristic public toilet capsules, free of charge. They are not the easiest thing to use—I didn’t know how to flush my poop and I panicked. Nothing happened despite me pressing the flush buttons multiple times. Turns out you select the flush—light or heavy—and it will be settled when the toilet undergoes a washing after each user. Pretty cool, that is only if you were not being chased out of the toilet trying to wash itself, still worried that someone else might find your poop and reduce you to being yet another pesky Chinese tourist.