For a month now, 11 public toilet attendants in Paris have staged daily protests in the tourist haven of Montmartre after they were laid off by managers who want to transform their workplaces into trendy “boutique restrooms.”
“They want to create luxury stores and say we don’t have the profile they’re looking for, they want us to speak several languages,” says Mahliya Fiokouna, one of the protesting “dames pipi,” or “wee-wee ladies” as they are known in France.
For seven years, Fiokouna has been cleaning toilets in popular tourist sites in the French capital such as the Sacre-Coeur basilica perched on a hill in Montmartre, the Notre-Dame cathedral and the Place de l’Etoile at the top of the upmarket Champs-Elysees avenue. At 45, she is the youngest of the protesters, a majority of whom are around 60 and have been working as toilet attendants for decades, but they were all laid off in July when Dutch company 2theloo took on a handful of toilets that had until then been managed by a French firm.
1. tourist haven n.
旅遊勝地 (lu3 you2 sheng4 di4)
例: Alishan and Sun Moon Lake are two of Taiwan’s best-known tourist havens.
2. lay off v. phr.
解僱 (jie3 gu4)
例: The recent economic crisis has led to many staff being laid off.
3. capital n.
首都 (shou3 du1)
例: Manila is the capital of the Philippines.
The toys we had when we were young (3/5) 我們小時候玩的玩具（三） A: My elder brother had a toy soldier called “Man of War.” It had a button on the back of the head. When you slid the button left and right, it would change the direction the soldier was looking. B: We had one of those, too. And I had a monster called “Stretch-o” made of green rubber covering a malleable material: you could stretch its limbs out really far, but they would always slowly return to the original shape and length. A: That sounds cool. I would have liked one of those, too. B: It wasn’t great, to be
The world finally says goodbye to 2020. To welcome the new year, CNN recently ran a report titled: “21 things to look forward to in 2021. . . if everything works out.” In the report, some highly-anticipated things worldwide include the Tokyo Olympics, which were delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic but are now rescheduled for July this year. Oct. 1 will mark the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World in Florida. A number of new TV shows and movies are scheduled for this year, such as the long-awaited “Friends” reunion special set to air in March, and the new 007 film
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A: Some toys were cool, some were badly conceived and some were toxic. B: Toxic? What do you mean? A: I had a collection of cartoon figurines. They were part of a promotion from a gas station. It turns out there was lead in the paint used on them. They had to be withdrawn. Lead paint is toxic. B: I remember those. They later reintroduced them with non-toxic paint, didn’t they? And the ones with the safe paint had a little blue spot on the base of the foot to distinguish them from the poisonous ones. A: That’s right.