watchmen 04|01|12

It has been a while, yes, I know.  I was afraid that one day I will run out of subjects about differences between Latvia and France, but no worries, they still keep popping up. My last revelation was about ‘gardien’ – caretaker, guardian, porter. Someone so present in everyday life that it initially slipped my mind.  French would ask – what’s up with guardian, and Latvians would ask the same, but not for the same reason. As in France everyday life is unimaginable without but in Latvia everyday life is without help of guardian.

It is a person that every Parisian house has. Person that takes care of building, cleaning, also serves as an intermediary between postman and resident.  Someone from the building that residents meet often, as usually his or her apartment is situated near main entrance. First time I saw ‘gardien’ was in film about Amelie  “Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain” , where guardian was a lady that, for sure not without help of Amelie, suddenly solved her love mystery, or even,  misery.   Looking back at it now, I am not even sure if I understood who she was. These days I have a real guardian working for building where I live.

I’m sure if anyone wants to know daily habits of inhabitants of a building, it is guardian who can tell. Our guardian knows us well. For instance, if there are early morning deliveries from post that are too big to enter postbox, it is guardian who receives them and puts in front of our door. He never rings to wake us up, though when he does his weekly vacuum cleaning before 9 o’clock in the morning, it is hard not to notice. He is also the one who collects our bin, so he knows how many empty bottles of strong grape juice a week we produce. I have to say that one of our neighbours really is not helping.

But in the end, why it is different from Latvia? First of all, there is no habit of having single person for just one building. There is no guardian, but instead a janitor. Janitor is shared my number of buildings and his/her main task is to keep streets clean. They start working day around 5 or 6 in the morning. And they know what to do when the first snow falls, in contrary to French. I used to wake up with joy on those mornings of winter months when I heard janitors spade rebounding from pavements while cleaning snow.

One Response to “watchmen 04|01|12”
  1. aaaaa, jaaa, tā skaņa no rītiem, kad sētniece tīra sniegu!

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