Friday, March 19, 2010

sundays in France

It's when we go out on Sundays that the difference between France and North America really strikes me. Sundays are still days of rest here, where everything (or pretty much) is closed - even in Paris! The streets are empty, the stores and restaurants are locked up, and every place feels like a ghost town. It reminds me of how things were when I was growing up in Vancouver, but for me there is also something a little sad about seeing the empty streets. So what do most French people do on Sunday? Most still go home to mama and papa for a big midday meal which lasts until 3 or 4pm. Unless kids live really far away from the family, it is expected that they will spend the day with their parents. After 4pm, the families emerge from their houses en masse and go for a gentle family stroll in the countryside or the city. Sometimes you can see four generations enjoying their walk together! For those who don't have family close by, there are a few restaurants that are open, as well as all the cinemas, so a meal and a film are a possibility. There are also the occasional flea markets and garage sales to check out, in addition to special festivals (cidre, apple, cheese, potato - you name it!). Generally speaking, though, it's a quiet and somewhat sleepy day, meant to be spent with family: a time to gear up for the week ahead.

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