In general, private time is valued more than work time here, much differently from in the United States. People are generally not willing to give up their personal time in exchange for a small amount of extra money, so the vast majority of Parisian businesses close quite early, by American standards–by 7 PM, or 8 PM at the latest. This means that if you work at all past 6 PM and you have a significant commute home, you’re going to have trouble doing any normal shopping. Additionally, most businesses are closed on Sunday. So, Saturday is a day when many stores are crowded with people buying all of the stuff that they weren’t able to pick up during the week.
By noon today, I had done two loads of laundry and had been to the fromagerie (cheese shop), the fruit marchand (stall keeper, shop keeper, merchant), the boulangerie (bread bakery, as opposed to a patisserie, or pasty bakery), and the fleuriste (florist), with a final stop at the supermarché (supermarket–actually a very small one, rather than the Monoprix, which, as you may remember from previous posts, is a horrid experience) for the stuff that I couldn’t find anywhere else. Along the way, I popped into a Middle Eastern restaurant for a quick lamb tongue sandwich–yum. This leaves me time for a long Saturday afternoon of grading corpus linguistics papers–yay!
- le/la fleuriste: florist.