Monday, September 17, 2012

Dry July... and August -- A cruel cruel summer in Paris.

There's this bizarre thing that French people do every year in July and August.  It's called vacation.  For a MONTH.  The minimum vacation allowance here is 5 weeks.  If you're salaried, since the work week is 35 hours, you get an extra 2 or so weeks.  For those of you who are bad with numbers, that makes 7 weeks of vacation per year... and now you know why were're here.  Many companies close for the entire month of August, so like it or not, you're taking vacation. Which can suck if you'd like to go to any vacation-y type place.  You end up in a crowded, traffic jammed, hot 'paradise' full of Parisians.  We've heard stories about Corsica, one of the beautiful islands we visited back in June.  Didn't seem like something I wanted to do.  Plus, here I was thinking Paris would be so much better without all the Parisians.  Which is partly true.  The only problem is that all our friends who live here are on vacation, and the people who run the bakeries, coffee shops, restaurants, bars and your favorite local store are all out of town.  It's such a phenomenon that there are blog posts about it.