Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Even after three years here, I'm constantly running afoul of the rhythms of Parisian life. In the provinces, many shops close mid-day to allow Madame or Monsieur to eat a proper lunch. In town, you're much more likely to see hours like these -- shops open at lunchtime and then closed mid afternoon with a reopening towards evening. This is particularly true for food shops including bakeries, butchers, and cheese shops. The chain stores operate on an American model with staggered shifts for their employees. But do yourself a favor and stay out of Monoprix between 12:30 and 2:00 unless you like standing in long lines with the rest of Paris. And definitely go back to the boulangerie for your bread after 6, when fresh batches will be coming out of the oven.