Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Marching with the French

Well, Cyr is now busy working away in Lowanda, Angola. He left Monday and I had a visitor come stay for a few days. For the first time since I moved her we had nice weather when I had a visitor! It was so nice not be constantly telling someone that "It's not this cold here all the time, really."

My friend Karen came to visit and it snowed the whole week. I have never seen snow here at any other time, just when my cold natured friend who has no body fat to keep her warm came to visit. When my Mom and my friend Bonnie were here it was overcast, cold and drizzly rain. Maybe it's that when God sees visitors are here he doesn't want them all to know what a beautiful city Lille is. This way it keeps people from flocking here.

So Stephen showed up and I was shocked when it was 21 degrees (that is almost 70 for those Fahrenheit readers out there) and sunny. It was great, he was here two days and we would leave in the morning and spend the day in the city walking around and sitting at outside cafes all day. He has been traveling throughout Europe and was pretty museumed and cultured out so we just hung out and ate some local food. He even tried the bone marrow (see picture). This stuff tastes like olive oil paste or something. You sprinkle rock salt on it and put it on toast, oh, heaven on a biscuit!

Stephen also got to witness a favorite French pastime; a protest!! We were walking to the train station and the main street leading through the Grand Place (main square) was filled with people carrying signs and waving flags. Well, they weren't really waving as much as just holding. Really, I have never seen a more laid back group of protesters in my life. There must have been hundreds of people divided by industry, from what I could translate, all marching to protest the fact that Sarkozy wants to amend the 35 hour work week limit currently in place. The crazy French president wants to take away this limit and ask people to work a full 40. From what I understand, currently folks in a manager role or higher are exempt from this law, so it would affect most of the middle and lower level roles. They all looked as if they were walking to the bakery, there was really almost no excitement in the march. Actually not even the bakery, French people tend to walk quickly to the bakery, more like they were all walking to have lunch at thier in-laws. The pictures look much more exciting that it really was.

I wonder if the march time went toward their 35 hours or if they had to use vacation?

Now Stephen has left for the US and I'm trying to get our apartment in order. Why is it so hard to empty a suit case? Is it just me or does it seem that bags hold some kind of magnetic force that holds clothes in them when a trip is over. I can't seem to just come home and unpack over a day or two. I like to take my time, make sure the clothes don't mind being moved. Don't want to mess with the clothing equilibrium I guess.

1 comment:

Cyr. said...

Actually (and sadly), it does count toward their 35h, in France, we are getting paid for protesting... Talk about an incentive...