Tuesday, June 24, 2014

More reasons you know you've been in France too long (summer edition)

Frightening but true, summer time seems to bring out the latent French person in me.  I hear myself thinking or saying things that are oh so français that I might need to check the nationality on my passport again. So in addition to those normal French-isms we expats can experience, here's a quick list to see how French one can become once June 21st rolls around.

1. You can't stop thinking about your vacation and you know about everyone else's holiday plans down to the last detail.  Blame it on the generous five weeks a year holiday plan in this country.  The French are obsessed with vacations.  But it's even more apparent in the summer.  Some folks routinely spend two or three weeks in the south of France.  Once June rolls around people can't concentrate on much else. 

2. Any excuse is perfect for eating outside or in a sidewalk café.  We are lucky to have a balcony to eat on when we feel like it and the weather is behaving.  And when I walk through the main squares in my town on a nice evening, I see crowds of diners outside eating as if it is their birthright.  It is sort of a way of life in the warm months around here.

3. Apéro!  Along with eating outside, summer rhymes with cocktails, or apéro.  This is also a sacred tradition around here.  There are many variations but it generally consists of a glass of rosé or your favorite cocktail or cold drink with chips and salty snacks. It's just a great excuse to get together and snack and drink (in moderation!).  Our 70ish year old neighbor even said we should come by for "apéro" some time!

Check out this campy scene from the French movie Camping.  Warning, guy in speedo!

4.  You put off any serious plans till September.  Cause, really, what's the point? Some companies close in August completely.  How do they expect us to get any work done?  I hear my students who are looking for a job say they'll just relax now that summer is here and start seriously looking in September.  And they're right.  Even job ads dry up in the summer.

5. You have an intense desire to clean your car inside and out.  This is intimately linked with the vacation time.  I just never seemed to notice Americans getting so gung ho about cleaning their car before heading off to the beach (since the car will just get sandy anyway).  The French, however, start vacuuming and cleaning with religious fervor come late June.  It's a telltale sign that your neighbor is about to leave for a few weeks.

Well, this list will only have five points since I'm already experiencing that summer laziness.  But I'll leave you with a few pics of us enjoying the long days of sunshine.

Juliette blowing bubbles at a British garden party.

Me and my shadow.
Sand pit and our shadows.
So enjoy summer and don't forget, apéro at my place!


Holly Nelson @ English Girl Canadian Man said...

I am surprised France doesn't tip south side down in the summer with all of the vacationers heading south and deserting the north!

Den nation said...

This is so true - I'm always asking people where they are going on holiday this year.

It's like a race against the machine - I have a few administrative tasks that I have to get done and I feel so much pressure because I know I had better deal with them now before July 1st comes along.