Keeping time in France

Who needs clocks!  I have church bells that start with a mad frenzy at 7am, and continue throughout the day on the hour and half hour until 10pm.  For some reason at 7am and then again at 7pm you not only get the requisite x7 bongs, but then a subsequent cacophony of ringing that last about a minute.  If anyone can enlighten me as to why it would be appreciated.

I am pretty sure everyone is aware of the French daily schedule…shops open from about 9 until around 12.  In my region shops are shut until 14:30 or 15:00, and then open until about 7pm. Sunday…some things open until noon-ish…boulangerie, boucherie etc. (one must have a decent meal on Sunday!)  Everything else is shut.  Monday-shut.

If you want to go out to lunch, get to the restaurant between 12-13:30 (or 14:00 if you are lucky) or go hungry until 7pm.  I am very privileged and have a Carrefour Contact (a tardis of a store that has almost everything you might need…including socks!) that is open ‘continuously’ from 8-8. More important, I am figuring out the market schedule: Cahors, Wednesday and Saturday, Lalbenque -Saturday, Montcuq – Sunday, Castelnau Montratrier  -Sunday.

I am still in my ‘France honeymoon period’ so for the moment I enjoy the schedule, but there also the fact that this is one of the reasons Dom and I have moved to France, where there is a slightly different approach to the infamously difficult work-life balance.  AND I have lived here before- so none of these quirks surprises me.

I first lived here as a student and then came back on a short term work permit so was exposed to a different view of daily life. I was living on my own in Orléans student housing, and then a rented room in a flat in Paris.  Very different from living with my English husband in an old house in a hamlet with only 10 neighbours. So, I expect some surprises, and welcome them…apart from the kettle slightly catching on fire due to a faulty adaptor.  That isn’t a good surprise.  And it doesn’t smell very nice either. Which reminds me, I need to chase that ‘devis’ from the electrician.

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One Comment on “Keeping time in France

  1. Thanks for blogging. Lovely to think of you buying your fresh stuff in the markets and your French improving every day. Well done, you two! Xx

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