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Friday, April 29, 2005

heures d'ouverture [or should i say 'fermature'??]

for the most part, life in france isn't that hard to get used to-- retail wise, that is. there are, however, just a few things that would make life oh-so-much easier for those of us who are errand- and shopping- obsessed.

if they asked me how to give the french retail economy a boost, my first idea would be to make all lunch closing hours the same. now, i don't mean that there should be some big legislation on when merchants can and cannot close-- we already have plenty of red tape going on here in france-- but it would be nice, say, if merchants would talk to their neighbors and just kind of agree to all keep the same hours. this would clear up mountains of confusion for the working folks who try to squeeze in an errand or two after lunch, and it would cut down on frustration too. i walked to a shop on the other side of my arrondisement the other day at 2.15pm, thinking i was safe from the dreaded lunch hour closed door. no luck. they didn't open back up until 2.30pm. now, if this wasn't a rainy day and i weren't 7+ months pregnant, i would've waited it out. instead, i huffed and puffed my way home, vowing never to go back. the worst part was that all the surrounding shops were open.

the other big debate is sunday shopping... after being here for 3 years, i 'd like to think that i've gotten used to nearly everything being closed on sunday, but i haven't. it is just plain frustrant to want to be able to get some groceries or drop off the drycleaning on a sunday afternoon, and not be able to. even a half day on sunday would do, and i swear businesses would boom. just look at the few sundays a year when the shops are open, during the sales. stores are packed, customers happy and shiney. so please, someone out there, think towards the future, towards keeping the little shops open....or we will all be forced to drive out to the burbs to go to the huge hypermarche that is open 7/7.

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