A new (old) experience for us is Mondays in France. I remember when I was young how shops in our town would close for lunch every day, where the staff would go home and have lunch with their families. On Saturdays, the shops that were open, would close at 1pm sharp and on Sundays nothing except the corner cafe would be open for bread and milk.
Now, 30 years laters, the French still subscribe to this slower pace of life. They take it a notch further though, most of the shops which gave up Saturday to serve clients is then closed on a Monday as well. This was a completely new experience for us.
We arrived to our first house sit on a Sunday afternoon and, full of excitement, headed out on Monday morning to stock up on all the new and interesting groceries and foods available in France. To our disappointment, most of the speciality and privately owned stores were closed and only a couple of the bigger chain stores were open.
At first we were frustrated because we’ve become used to a convenience lifestyle, at all cost. But soon I realised that the French might be on to something. They mostly only eat what’s in season, they are fanatical about avoiding waste (anything from recycling their garbage to selling or giving away their used items) and they won’t let life rush them.
We can all take a leaf from this book and dial back our lives to a more manageable, healthy pace.