In France, Everything Shuts at Twelve- (Part Two)

France

Originally posted 2013-05-23 15:17:59.

 “No,” I cried, and summoned up the best of my then limited French, “Cas d’urgence!”

But this made no impression on the battle-axe, who shook her head again, pointed to her watch and mouthed “Quattors heures et demi.” Whatever my emergency was, it would h

ave to wait another 150 minutes.

FranceAghast as she began to turn away again, and now completely at a loss for words, I was once again reminded of the sheer brilliance of my wife in situations like this. Knowing that she could not hope to plead her case in French, she had slipped over to the car, unstrapped Calum, and now appeared with him in her arms; when she knew she had the dame’s attention, she lowered the towel wrapped around him to show the lad’s bare bottom, and just said one of the few French words she knew by heart, because she needed it so often. “Couches!”

Continue reading “In France, Everything Shuts at Twelve- (Part Two)”

In France, Everything Shuts at Twelve- (Part One)

Originally posted 2013-05-17 13:38:11.

 One thing the guidebooks never bother to tell you about France is also one of the most important of all that you should know. In fact this piece of information is so important that my imparting it to you, as I am about to do, is worth the price of the book of all this. So perhaps, if you’ve borrowed this from a friend, you should skip to the next chapter right now. (I jest.)

 

So what is this invaluable knowledge that no-one should travel in France without first having assimilated? Just this:

 Everything Shuts At Twelve. For Two Hours. At Least.

 That’s it. Outside of the major metropolitan cities like Paris and Lyon, and maybe even Marseilles these days, if you ain’t got whatever it is you were looking for by the time the midi rings, you can forget getting it until two o’clock at the earliest.

 Believe me, you will not be in France long before you realise how much this immutable chronology affects life.

 

Continue reading “In France, Everything Shuts at Twelve- (Part One)”