Saturday, 23 August 2008

Chicken and Egg

It was absolutely chucking it down outside (lovely weather for October) and as my friend's newly installed kitchen cupboards were bare she suggested we order a takeaway pizza for lunch. Just one problem; four of the five local pizza restaurants were closed for the summer holidays. Needless to say only the one furthest away was open.

At our local market the butcher, fishmonger, grocer and Italian epicerie are closed for the holidays as is the cous-cous restaurant and the African speciality takeaway. Seven of the ten outlets have temporarily ceased trading in a market that struggles at the best of times. The cheese shop was open but had a fraction of its usual stock and the bread I foolishly bought without thinking almost broke teeth. The boulanger opposite downed shutters several weeks ago. The newspaper kiosk is also locked and shuttered, as is the café bar next door. Paris is heaving with visitors with euros burning holes in pockets as it is every August, while stores, restaurants, cafés and bars have shut up shop until the end of the month, as they do every August.

Last week the French prime minister François Fillon hauled government ministers back from their holidays to discuss ways of giving the country's economy a kick up the derrière. Not exactly rocket science, is it?

7 comments:

Lehners in France said...

I know where you are coming from. We have paid a pretty hefty tax d'habitation for three years. We have been told to not expect anyone to look at our property till October, as it's the holidays!! Debs x

Parisgirl said...

Dear Debs,
Are we the only sad people on the internet on a Saturday night. Tragic! x

Lehners in France said...

Je pense oui, et non! I'm not Tommy Cooper I am just returning to the YUK. Debs x et love to la Fille

Retiredandcrazy said...

Exactly what my daughter was saying to me. She moved to Toulouse in January and is appauled that the French still take the long August holiday.

Dumdad said...

Tell me about it!

Irene said...

Do they not like making money? Why do they throw away this opportunity to make a buck? Very strange!

Cimon said...

I don't think it should be put this way : most shopkeepers make money from parisians, not tourists (and in east Paris, you don't see many tourists - except Jim Morrison fans who lost their way), so it is a good idea for them to leave when everyone leaves.

Shops in touristic areas are usually open during august, just take a look at the Notre-Dame or Quartier Latin (I mean the Quartier Latin for tourists, not the Quartier Latin for parisians), the avenue de l'opéra or the champs-élysées : everything is open.

Anyway, being a parisian, I am counting the days until everything reopens...