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Street Soccer

This afternoon while driving home a group of boys were playing soccer. They were playing soccer in the street. No big deal?

Well, it’s not the perfect street to play soccer in if you don’t want to be hit. And, these boys are always in this street at the exact same spot every day refusing to move. There were five cars sitting and waiting for these jokers to decide when they were good and ready to get out of the street.

It drives me insane.

Where are the police? It is really unsafe. It is not a big secret that these kids are always in the middle of the street at this particular spot refusing to move until they feel like it. It is an on going problem. Why aren’t the police driving through there on a regular basis telling them to get lost. Why aren’t the kids being hauled into police headquarters for potentially causing an accident which may hurt them or the people in the cars? Why aren’t the kids parents responsible for them?

Kids in the quartiers do what the want. They are untouchable. It’s not right.

One of these days someone is just going to run right over one of these kids. Is that when the police will come? Is that when their parents will care?

My husband tells me I don’t understand how it is in France with the socialist. There is no way to do anything because the kids are under 18. The parents can’t be charged fines on behalf of their children who they are responsible for. Why? Because they are on social welfare. They have no money.

On the flip side…as we are driving around this particular quartier (it is on our way home) I can see that there is not enough light at night. It makes me mad because the same socialists that let the kids get away with this crap are the ones that don’t make sure proper lighting is installed. I had told my husband that there aren’t enough lights in this quartier and that someone was going to get mugged. It was just too obvious. Well, a few someones did. Still no lights. It is ridiculous that more money isn’t put into these quartiers to make them look normal. The colors of the towers are strange pinks and black and white…all depressing and abnormal. Why not paint the towers a normal color and upkeep the playgrounds there as well. Why does one part of Strasbourg have more lighting and the playgrounds are upkept when in another part there are hardly any lights at night and the playgrounds are not upkept? Hmmm. Funny how this socialist thing works.

So, I see two problems. The kids need to have limits and their parents must be held accountable for the actions of their children. However, these kids deserve the same safe and clean environment as the kids in l’Orangerie or Robertsau. Actually, they need more help getting a strong start in making a future for themselves. All the odds are against them. So, why shouldn’t they play soccer in the middle of the street and make all the others wait. Aren’t these kids going to be shoved to the back for the rest of their lives?

Maybe, this is their way to show power. How far are they going to take it?
One of the first things I noticed shortly after moving to France:

Where are the minorities in politics, tv, music…etc.?

I love France. I love living here. I want to raise my kids in France.

Before anyone gets angry with me about my saying these things keep in mind I am saying them because I want to understand.

Believe me I know America is not perfect either. But, I don’t live there now and as an expat my vote really doesn’t even count.

I want to be French so that I can help shape my future and the future of my children through my vote. I want to have a say in what happens in the country I live in.

Tonight, I was upset first at the kids. After I cooled off and thought about it I then got angry with the system.

I understand France is a socialist state in many ways. I just don’t understand why it seems that the quartiers are thrown bones to keep them tame while the rest eat cake.

I feel France is at a turning point. I am afraid and excited at the same moment.

Maybe, nothing will happen?

Who knows I may even see this whole thing in a different light next week. I am learning about France every day I live here.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • D April 4, 2006, 9:07 pm

    You definitely have some valid points. And about France going through some changes and being at a turning point….I couldn’t agree with you more. Here’s hoping that these are positive changes for the better.

  • Jube April 5, 2006, 12:06 am

    You said: “I understand France is a socialist state in many ways. I just don’t understand why it seems that the quartiers are thrown bones to keep them tame while the rest eat cake.”

    Are the socialist the only ones to blame here?
    Is that just a French phenomenon? There are many other countries where social inequality prevails…

  • Pumpkin April 5, 2006, 9:06 am

    I agree with you that there are many other countries where social inequality prevails. But, I wanted to focus more on France because I want to understand what is going on here. I know all about in America…there are parts of cities that even police won’t or can’t go. There are kids living in cars even if it is one of the richest countries on earth. This actually makes me more angry. I didn’t write about that on purpose.
    Last night after I posted this I kept thinking about it like I always do after a post like this one. I was upset still when I wrote it.
    After reflecting on the situation more, I decided what is really making me upset is that the kids in the quartiers are given enough but they should be given more. The environment that they live in is depressing with the funky colored towers lack of adequate lighting at night as well as clean and safe playgrounds. The l’Orangerie is spotless and the play equipment is in perfect condition. In the areas near the quartiers the play equipment is not fixed right away. There was a broken door sitting against the gate for months at one of the playgrounds near where we live. My daughter was playing by it even if she knew she wasn’t allowed and it fell on her because I couldn’t get to her in time. Oh, was I mad! That would have never happened in the better parts of the city. The quartier is just near to this park. My husband tells me why do more when the people in the quartiers will just break it anyway. I don’t know…I am upset that Strasbourg is growing like crazy and is so beautiful everywhere but there. I know that is life but I am still not happy about it.

    I would love to see the towers destroyed and the people spread out across the city living like normal people. This would keep them from clustering together and help them to integrate. However, I do understand how and why that is impossible.

    I know that socialist are not the only ones to blame…I enjoy the socialist benefits of France very much…one of the reasons we moved here. I don’t want France to be a little America.
    I am only trying to understand if the current security issues with these kids are truely because they are untouchable or something more. I think it is a combination of many things that I don’t know about or understand yet.
    I need to get a book on French politics and social structure so that I can understand the situation better.
    I am very interested to know more about France. France is my home and someday I will be French. Therefore, I must understand much better than I currently do.

  • Pauline April 5, 2006, 9:15 am

    This is the sad state of many countries France, the USA and my home country the UK and many others. It seems that the poor are getting poorer, the rich richer and everyone else stagnates in the middle.

    Things may change in France due to the CPE but fundamentally I don’t think there will be any real changes. The big motivators all round the world are money, power and sex this has been the way since the beginning of civilization and things aren’t ready to change.

    Pessimistic view I know but that’s how I see things.

  • Pumpkin April 5, 2006, 10:08 am

    I think it is all about power. Money and sex are ways to show power over another individual. I grew up with all these ideas about life and when I went out into the world I was so disappointed with what I found. I haven’t given up because I do think that most people care. They just aren’t active enough to change it. One of the things I LOVE about France is that people don’t sit around and complain…they get up and hit the streets and get their voices heard. I don’t agree with destroying property. However, I love that they demonstate. It shows they care about their country and are willing to do something about it.
    I just wish the quartiers were gone. I prefer to dream of better things to come than accept that they will never change.

  • christina April 5, 2006, 11:34 pm

    Big problems with this kind of thing in Germany right now too. There’s a “Hauptschule” (one of the lowest type of schools in the German three-tiered secondary school system) in Berlin that has a police guard right now because the students are totally out of control. These kids are mostly foreign and of low social status. The teachers are blaming the parents, the parents are blaming the teachers, and the government isn’t taking any responsibility at all.

  • Pumpkin April 6, 2006, 8:17 am

    That is what bothers me…people point fingers and don’t really look at the problems and try to solve them.
    It has to start with the teachers and parents and the communtity as well as the government. Otherwise it will only get worse. I see why the kids are kinda lost and act out but I never understand why no one really gets at the problem.
    It is the same in America as well with the guns.

  • Tongue in Cheek April 6, 2006, 12:37 pm

    if the revolution happens lets hope there aren’t any be-headings!

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