aris is one of the most beautiful cities, especially at the beginning of spring, in the first days of May. The entire city is blooming, the first honeymooners are arriving and the city is not yet as crowded as it is in the summertime.
This is probably also what a German couple thought when they set off in early May to visit Paris in a comfortable caravan. The couple, married for over thirty years, went visiting a few elegant local restaurants once they had arrived in the city of love. They spent quite a few hours meeting people from all over the world at the outside restaurant tables.
By the time they were halfway through their fourth bottle of wine, the evening was slowly getting late. A taxi was called to take Mr. and Mrs. G. back to the caravan. Mr. G. got out first, followed by his wife who got tangled in her pants flaps. She stumbles and falls face first onto the walkway concrete. Her nose bones were smashed, tremendous amounts of blood flowed immediately and seemingly endlessly. Mrs G. shouted at her husband, asking him why he had not helped her getting out of the car, crying in pain.
Some passers-by in Paris observed what had happened and immediately called for an ambulance, which arrived within minutes. Followed shortly after by the Paris police which arrived at the "crime scene" with some extraordinary motivation. Both are questioned separately in Inspector Clouseaud style, Mrs. G. immediately informed the interrogating policemen and women that she literally does not speak a single word French. The Paris police, on the other hand, explains her that English is a foreign language they would refuse to speak here entirely. An official interpreter was ordered to translate Mrs G.'s questions only much later in time.
Still in the ambulance, Mrs G. tried to explain that her husband had not beaten, nor abused her, but to no avail. The local Paris passers-by, who spoke fluent French of course, were much more likely to believed: they had heard a woman screaming, and the pool of blood on the pavement is a clear sign of brutal violence. Mr. and Mrs. G. were immediately taken separately to the same police station and locked up each in separate police prison cells until the matter is cleared. Voila.
Even the "victim" Mrs. G. ends up in a police cell without toilet paper and dirty drinking water for about 48 hours, until finally a witness is found, after whose testimony Mrs. G. is immediately released. She is examined twice by a medical doctor and transported for that halfway through the city in a race car manner.
She could see her husband only when he was passing the police jail corridor, she asks when he is released. The policewoman explains her he will be released "soon". Mrs. G. waits, but nothing happens. She drives back to the caravan without her husband and is traumatized from her temporary stay in prison. She calls her daughter and son in distant Germany and telephones the German consulate, where she is told that her husband has a court hearing in two days.
She googles the Internet and finds out that one can be punished with up to 5 years imprisonment for violent acts against women here in France. The next day, she immediately goes to the German embassy, which sends her to the German Consulate General. There she is kept waiting - or rather hanging - for some time before a female consulate employee tells her while smiling that she can't do much about the case currently - but she wishes her "good luck" nevertheless. A lucky encounter in front of the consulate helps Mrs. G. to fight her way through the many challenging language issues at the central city court. With a lot of luck and divine coincidences, she somehow manages to locate the courtroom in the brand new justice building in central Paris.
There she waits until about 7 p.m. until her husband, wearing a purple prison sweater, is brought into the courtroom before the three female judges. Finally, it is his turn. Mrs. G., who is asked to testify as a "victim", immediately makes it clear that there has never been any violence committed against her by her husband, neither now, nor in the past 30 marriage years or so. Mr. G., who seems traumatized as well, testifies the same. Mr. G's female public defender summarizes the case with great empathy and demands an immediate exoneration from all charges. This, however, after the very Parisian prosecutor informs an astonished audience that he would like to see Mr. G. "punished", even though not necessarily with a prison sentence. Something like four months on probation would be quite alright with him.
Mr. G. is finally acquitted and exonerated from all charges after a few minutes in which the three female Parisian judges had summoned the case. Hours later he is released from the high security prison in the middle of the night, about an hour's car drive from Paris center and after a total of 5 days of imprisonment.
Paris, we love you.
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