Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Quiet in August? Yes and No
This sign is one of those cliches based in truth. The French are serious about their time off and many of the smaller businesses in our neighborhood have closed up shop for a few weeks. (The chain stores stay open, presumably because of their ability to rotate staff leave.) Traffic is light. And there actually seemed to be more tourists than residents at our neighborhood open air market last Saturday.
But not everyone is on vacation. Far from it. When the retail business shuts down for the month, the painters, plasterers, and fixer uppers move in. From what I can tell, August appears to be a busy time for renovation and remodeling. One of our neighborhood boulangeries has been completely gutted, right down to the studs. Since there was a steady stream of business there and often lines out the door, my guess is that they will be back at the rentrée with fresh walls, cases, counters, flooring, and windows. Time off for the working man come September? The only thing I know for sure is that the first general strike of the season is the 7th. Sounds like a good day to go fishing to me.