Regardless, the Parisians do love their outdoor space and most weekends the bois is packed with families, friends, and dogs, picnicking, biking, or even rowing around.
Le Bois de Boulogne
On this particular Saturday I had gone to the bois alone to get my fill of Vitamin D and catch up on some reading.
After sufficiently soaking in the sun’s rays, I was walking home, still very much in the park, but a bit separated from the merry makers, when a twentysomething French woman approached me.
Expecting her to ask for directions and feeling proud that, as someone who lives near the park and has spent a good amount of time there, I would be able to guide her, she caught me a little off guard when she asked,
“Excusez-moi? Bonjour… so I really need to pee and I was wondering if I went behind this bush, if you wouldn’t mind watching out to make sure nobody goes by?"
“Ah,” I chuckled, fully understanding her predicament, as France is notorious for it’s lack of public bathrooms, “bien sûr, pas de soucis (of course, no worries).” I smiled.
The Eiffel Tower is even visible from the bois.
We walked over to the secluded bush. I turned around to watch for passerbys while she presumably walked behind the bush to take care of business.
It turned out that my presence wasn’t necessary; nobody came close to where we were. There was one man, however, who started off down the path towards us, found a different bush a ways off, saddled on up to it, and promptly started peeing.
I guess I was unknowingly walking down the chemin de pipi (pee trail).
On a side note, there ARE public bathrooms in the Bois de Boulogne that are also free of charge in the jardin de Shakespeare, so don't feel obligated to urinate publically. Considering the park is so big, you might want to plan ahead to give yourself enough time to get there, though.