Remember that old bumper sticker, "Will the last person to leave Detroit please turn out the lights?" Well, I'm beginning to think that we need one of the those for Paris because residents are deserting the city like a bunch of rats scurrying to get off a sinking ship.
Knowing that my bakery will be closed for the entire month of August, I passed by yesterday afternoon to buy one last chocolate eclair and tell the friendly saleswoman to enjoy her much-needed vacation in Tunisia. To the annoyance of the man standing in line behind me, Fatimah and I chatted about our plans and all of the things that we still have to take care of at home before our early morning departures. When I turned to leave, she smiled warmly and said à bientôt ("see you soon"). And just like that it occurred to me that I'm an integral part of Paris because Fatimah expects to see me when the bakery opens it doors again at the end of the month.
While walking home, I realized that I've changed. When the bakery closed for its annual holiday last year, I was annoyed by the inconvenience of having to go to another boulangerie to buy my bread and couldn't understand how businesses can shut their doors when their customers count on them to provide services. Now I get it. But maybe it's because I'm also looking forward to my August vacation in the States instead of staying in the city.
Many (most?) of the stores and boutiques in my neighborhood are closed for August.
Never quite sure how to convey the mood that descends over the non-touristy areas of Paris in August, I was delighted to read Kristen's description in her post, "Closed for Vacance", "It reminds me of the last day of school when you're a kid. The excitement that everyone is going away for awhile and you won't see or talk to anyone for at least a month..."
Bonnes vacances, everyone! My next post will be coming to you from Buxton, England!
If you're staying in Paris and need to find a bakery that's open, take a look at the list provided by the city. Otherwise, your bakery should post a sign indicating the bakeries nearby that are open in August.
|Knowing that Parisians can't live without their bread, bakeries provide their customers with the details about the other bakeries in the area that are open during the month of August.|