“That is the most disgusting museum in Paris,” the Purrito said flatly.
Mounting the final few steps that released us from the admittedly smelly subterranean sanctum of Paris’ wastewater, I found that I was having a hard time disagreeing. That said, I had a just-acquired 3€ rat-shaped magnet with the words visite des égouts de paris in my camera bag, so my response was more of a cackle than an agreement.
The Purrito sighed as I laughed again and told me “You know we already have two stuffed rats. We couldn’t buy a stuffed sewer rat because three would be a collection.”
I smiled, shrugged, and noted that the guy at the “gift shop” (in his Paris city services coveralls) looked at us like we were lunatics for wanting to buy something. I further noted that I found his reaction particularly odd, given that we weren’t the only people in the “museum” (which is really a fully-functioning, if very mildly Disneyfied (there are walkways, handrails, and you don’t need to bring your wellies) and labeled stretch of the 2100km-long Paris sewer system).
My lovely wife, who does not share my interest in infrastructure, but who kindly trudged behind me as I said “neat,” “gross,” or “I wondered how they dealt with that” approximately 75 times each shook her head and smiled bemusedly at me.
“Let’s go,” she said, as we headed off to the Jean-Paul Gaultier exhibit, the line for which we would find far too long for our tastes.
I strongly suspect that this will wind up being one of our most vividly-remembered museums.
I don’t know if I should mention this.