Parisian Purpose and the five- week vacation

The current buzz of conversation among Parisians, typically trails back to vacation. It’s three weeks off, they get in August. And for the most part, no one stays put.

The majority travel-- some heading down south, others to neighboring European countries. A good portion venture abroad; Among the chatter, Asia seems to hit high as a popular destination.

Two of our eight have left for their holiday-- leaving the office quite calm. It’s July, not August. But the men here take shifts seeing as a website can’t shut down just because the country decides vacation time has come around.

At 9:30 each morning, I’m now the first one to arrive. And as a result, David, one of the two who left, handed over the office keys. It’s about five keys, although I need only the one to open the door to our small office space. But it’s a just- in- case set of sorts... just in case I arrive before the main architecture firm and I need to open the main building door. I’ve got a large, old- fashioned golden key for that. It adds quite the jangle to the army of others hanging off my wallet.

Vacation days in France are mostly set-- three weeks in August, two weeks in December and a week in spring. It’s not a culture that lives to work; rather, they work to live-- long hours, but enough to guarantee the extended breaks to enjoy days without workplace responsibilities. 

As Americans, we work towards the future, putting in the hours now to pay off for our children, our families, our retirement down the road. We dream of our large home, of the luxurious car. We accumulate the material, throwing it aside to make way for the constant new. We’ve got all year to choose when to take our (meager, in comparison) two-week holiday-- often the option to go without holiday time in order to transfer the days over. 

But France isn’t the work- driven society of the states. There's less productivity, here-- less of a surplus of innovation of new ideas. (They experienced their heyday years back. So for that, we can cut them some slack.)

The French place a stronger emphasis on the importance of their personal lives-- utilizing their free time among the company of others as they pass their late afternoons for drinks in a café, their evenings for lengthy dinners in a bistro. They sit outdoors, facing the boulevards in front-- a cigarette tilted in between their fingers as the smoke drizzles upwards, swirling slowly before fading from view.

Most don’t live lavish lifestyles and the expense of living in Paris often results in small living quarters. They don’t sprawl on the couch after a long day of work, eyes peeled to the evening TV broadcast. And it’s the glass of wine that replaces the beer in hand. They venture outdoors in their free time, delving into the movement and vibrancy of the Parisian way of living. It’s this that adds life to the city, builds the sense of culture the onlooker observes. 

It’s not the relaxed atmosphere we have in the states. You won’t find them switching the workplace attire in lieu of the comfort of the sweats. They’ll look primp and proper-- imbuing class and elegance-- no matter the time of day. They don’t throw themselves into lives that revolve around work, but nor do they put forth minimum effort for the hours spent in the office. Like us-- the Americans-- they work hard. But it’s hard work for a different purpose.

Parisian businesses will be closed come August-- the same period that the over flux of tourists swarm the city’s grounds. Would be good for business, except they won’t be here to reap in the monetary benefits August could bring.

Unlike us, they work to enjoy the moment rather than work to enjoy the future.
It’s not better than our American work ethic-- nor is it worse. Merely different, to say the least.

No Response to "Parisian Purpose and the five- week vacation"

Post a Comment




100th blog post 762 curves Alice Springs Alipura Amsterdam Anne Frank House Art Fair attractions August vacation Australia Ayers rock Ayuttahaya backpacker backpacking bamboo rafting Bangkok Bangkok hospital of Phuket Barcelona Bastille Day beaches beggars Berlin Berlin Wall Blue Mountains blue shoes Bondi Beach bucket list camp Cathedrale Notre- Dame cemetery Chabad Chabad Champs Elysees Chabad of Bangkok Charles Bridge Chartres Chartres Chathedral Chateau de Vincenne Chiang Mai Chiang Saen chicken thigh Christo Claude Francois Cloclo Cold War Cultural differences Czech Republic day trek day trip DC travel definition Dengue Fever developing connection East Side Gallery Eiffel Tower light show elephant ride elephant trek England Festival Fnac Live Florence FOAM Museum Fragonard France French culture French friends French presidential inauguration GAdventures Germany ghats Giambologna Giverny Golden Triangle graduation graduation travel Grand Temple guesthouse hairdresser Hales St. Pierre Hall of Opium heritage Hinduism Holocaust homestay hundred step staircase identity India internship introduction Israel Italy Jardin de Tuilleries Jardin du Luxembourg Jeanne- Claude Jewish Quarter Jewish travel Jubilee Judaism Khao San Road King Solomon restaurant ko phi phi koi samui kosher Krabi La Defense La Grande Arche Lesser Town Lido life thrill London Louis XIV Louvre Mae Salong Marmottan Monet Melbourne metro Milan Munich Murano Nazi Germany New York City northern Thailand Oktoberfest Old Town Orchha Overnight train Pai Palazzo Grassi Palermo Parc Montsouris Paris Paris Statue of Liberty Paris summer sales Passover seder people watching Petrin Tower Photography Phuket Piazza San Marco post-graduation Prague Prague castle President Francois Hollande publication Ram Raja Rape of the Sabine Woman Ray Caesar returning abroad Rome Rouen San Spirito school Seine Shabbat Shavuot Siam capital Siam capital city solo travel Spring break St. Chapelle studies study abroad study abroad program summer friends Sydney Thailand Thailand elephant Thailand historic capital Thailand hospital Thais The Pont Neuf Wrapped thrill of life Tiger Airways time off from work toilet Tordi Sagar Tour de France transportation travel travel alone travel blog travel essay Trocadero tuk tuk USA TODAY College Varanasi Venetian Jewish Ghetto Venice Versailles Versailles Light and Sound show Vincenne white water rafting Yoga Jardin du Luxembourg Yom Kippur in Berlin zip line

All Rights Reserved © 2011 The Girl with the Traveling Blue Shoes All rights reserved.
Converted To Blogger Template by Anshul Theme By- WooThemes
This template is brought to you by : | Blogger Templates