I don't like Mondays

Will I ever get used to France not being in the 21st century yet – even after 17 years - No I don’t think so.

Just been to get some money out of the cash machine to pay the gardener and whilst I’m on route I’ve remembered that I’ve got one potato left and look, the petrol gauge is low.

There are two garages in close proximity, both without 24hr machines and ‘service operator’ assisted - so garage first I think – chain across the entrance. No good going to the other one either, they will be closed too. I must add that both of them close for lunch too.

OK no problem with the cash machine, although quite often this machine is temporarily offline and suggests we wait a few minutes – I have been known to wait for 10 minutes and still no reaction from the machine ! And isn’t always when the bank itself is shut !

Two mini-marts in close proximity – eh, no vegetable trays outside and blinds down !

What’s happening ?

It’s Monday isn’t it.

that's because they're open on Saturday - it's a normal banking day, Annie ;-)

Banks shut Monday, Insurance agent closed Monday - but she still managed to cash the two cheques I gave her at 7.00 pm on Friday!!! Selected things are working, just the doors are shut!

It is strange what people consider strange. When I was doing fieldwork in the Peruvian Andes in the 1970s there was a stop on the coach journey, Ristorante Tres Cruces. I used it as the subject of a short story I once wrote, The Restaurant in the Middle of Nowhere. That describes its location reasonably well. It was always open. However, it often had nothing on offer, not even a cup of coffee. The opposite extreme was Gonder in Ethiopia where the place never shut at all, even the market in the centre of the city was there all night. There was always something on offer, even if you didn't really want it you'd find it.

Europe is varied, people who are used to capitals and the areas close to them and other main cities are usually spoiled, then try rural north of Norway, a town like Mo i Rana where there is precious little to begin with. The one I cannot cope with in any country is a café that is open for morning coffee and again for afternoon coffee but is closed for lunch! I know two of them and wonder why they have never worked out where they are not earning a couple of Euros, especially given the owner of one of them is forever lamenting not having enough income!

I wish, I think it'll be around 70 odd by the time I get there, just another 23 years to go then... :-O

7h00 - 19h00 non-stop here (I've just locked the door, ouf!) and still dream of a 2 hr lunch break, it'll come with time and with the heat, yep, summer's on it's way ;-)

j'y crois pas :-O je suis buraliste et je bosse entre 80 et 90 heures par semaine, pas de salarié non plus :-(

mais j'en aurai, j'en aurai un jour...! ;-)

Commerçants? You are bourgeois fat cats, everybody knows that, you can just hire people to do the work for you and rest all day:-)

and when are we commerçants able to take a break then!

I thought that was the beauty of laid-back rural France and as Marie-Claire points out, we're open until 7 each day rather than 5 or 6. I'm still at work at the moment and don't close the shop until 19h30...!

It is the 21st century, Doreen, just French style! and I bet that's what you came our here for really, isn't it...?! ;-)

I got used to the Monday closing for banks, I struggle with lunch time closing though, and I got a real surprise when I first moved hear took a friend for a coffee and discovered our local town closed on Wednesday afternoons too! Having come from London it was all a bit of a culture shock, still I didn't come here for the shops.

... you can buy things late on Saturday, Sunday morning an more and more often Sunday afternoon. It makes up for Mondays.... or I find it does having lived in countries where shops close around 6 pm everyday but Saturday when they close at 5, or 4 or even noon!!!

I must admit to finding it strange just how many shops shut, either all day, or open just a half day on a Monday. The start of the working work, everybody raring to go!!

On the other hand, there does seem to be something of a sea change in some quarters, with a number of supermarkets open almost "all hours". Even our local garage, a Utile, is open all day, and evening and Sunday!! It's a classic convenience store/petrol station and French owned.