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Working in Paris: Strikes, 35-hour Weeks and Real Lunch Breaks

35 hour work week – time for gazing at the Seine - Christophe Hue

Many associate French working life with 35-hour weeks, strikes, long long lunch breaks and even longer holidays. This is certainly the image that I’d carefully conjured in my idealistic head before setting foot in France.

The big question: does reality live up to this delightful worker-friendly dream?

Well, I can confirm that the 35-hour week does exist (at least for a privileged minority), strikes do take place on a not-infrequent basis, lunch breaks remain sacred, and holidays are considered to be an untouchable national right (right up there alongside liberté, egalité, fraternité).

However, beneath the shiny and appealing veneer, day-to-day work has its fair share of up and downs.

Carin Olsson

Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 4 Comments »

Paris Foods You Must Eat – Part 2

I miss Paris – the gorgeous gray buildings, the bridges over that little river, the cranky taxi drivers. Oh, let’s be real for a moment; I miss the food more than anything else. And since my initial post on Paris Foods You Must Eat (part 1) did so well, I thought an encore was in order.

Maggie Battista - Chocolate Mousse ParisMaggie Battista

Let’s start with the chocolate mousse, that luscious mix of cream, sugar, cocoa and air. Only this mousse is featured in a chocolate mousse bar – that’s right, folks, an entire bar of mousses made from all different types of chocolate – that is scooped out by the spatula-full into a tiny paper cone (or into pint containers, if you’re so inclined). You gotta try this good stuff, made in a shop tucked away on a sleepy section of St. Germain. Chocolat Chapon is located at 69 Rue du Bac, 75007 Paris, Tel: 01 42 22 95 98‎.

Erica Berman - PozzettoErica Berman

If thick chocolate mousse is not quite your speed, try the best gelato in Paris. I waited in line for 30 minutes in order to spoon some creamy deliciousness from Pozzetto (39 Rue du Roi de Sicile, 75004 Paris, Tel: 01 42 77 08 64‎) into my waiting belly. Well, I spooned it into my mouth and it traveled into my belly and… I loved it.

If sweets aren’t your thing, perhaps cheese is? It better be if you’re in Paris. And frankly, there isn’t anything better than a selection of cheeses from your local fromagerie, a fresh crispy baguette and a bottle of organic French wine. The moment you visit Paris, put the fancy restaurants on hold and gather supplies for your own makeshift picnic in your rented flat or hotel room. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food | 7 Comments »

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