I'm joking. Kind of. Throwing out a completely unresearched but possibly accurate statistic, I'd say that 75% of the stores I saw in France, in any city, any given time of day, were locked up. The rest were open between 10am and 5pm (except for Mondays and sometimes Wednesdays, and occasionally by appointment only). I'm wondering how anyone in this country makes money. A full time job must come out to 1000 hours per year. Actually, it wouldn't be so bad. I would also love to live a little more slowly--have two hours for my breakfast every morning (espresso and a croissant), take weekends off, read a book during my 3 hour lunch break. If only I could manage to stop being so hungry.
We've concluded that the French survive on bread and occasionally cheese, which explains both their svelte figures and their ability to make a living. Never before have I been so aware of America's super-size culture. I expect three full meals a day, and I expect the food to be fast and plentiful. If I order a small, it should be large. If I order a large, it should be obscene. And I don't even eat that much!
A Parisian Lunch
I adjusted to the bread and cheese diet after a few days, but that all ended with the All-you-can-eat ribs in Bruges. Now I'm back to being hungry all the time, but in Germany where it is cheaper and easier to resolve. Currywurst, bitte?