Monday, April 09, 2007

The French Exodus

There is a big story in Time Europe about how emigration from France is at an all time high. I can definitely agree with the article in that if you are young and ambitious, France is not really the place to be. If on the other hand, you are ready to just sit back and relax, France might be just the thing. There is no doubt that quality of life is very high, but the work culture and I suppose legislation creates a situation that is stagnant, at best. Everyone does just what needs to be done and anything more is viewed with suspicion. There are lots of studies that show that French workers are some of the most productive in the world (certainly more productive than their overworked US counterparts) but in terms of encouraging creative entrepreneurial ventures, its no wonder that the best and the brightest are apparently fleeing at an incredible rate.

As a case study, our household would only support this theory (lazy but living well, to be more precise). Originally we talked about taking Ella out to Disneyworld today. After about 30 seconds of reflection we both came to the conclusion that it would be more work than fun and put it off for another time when half the free world wasn't also on holiday and needing to entertain their children. Instead, we all slept til 10 this morning and then got ready to go to the flower market for some more plants for the balcony. It turned out to be another lovely sunny day in Paris so as we strolled along the quais, we decided that maybe we should just go for lunch and do the flowers later. We ended up going to Georges at the Centre Pompidou and sitting out on the terrasse in the sun, sipping rosé and nibbling on sushi- their California rolls are gorgeous- as we enjoyed the view over Paris. Ella was a doll and sat quietly in her stroller the entire meal, hardly making a peep. We tossed around the idea of getting tickets to go to the Samuel Beckett expo (although I think that they have rehung the permenant collection since my last visit so we could have even done that) and then vetoed it as far too ambitious a project for a holiday. We didn't end up buying any plants after all and just wandered through the Marais. B figures that we did about 5 kilometers this afternoon, so ample justification for spending the rest of the afternoon napping on the sofa.

This weekend absolutely felt like the start of Spring. All the trees outside our balcony are budding out and the flowers in the park are just perfect right now- all the tulips and daffodils are in bloom. I love this weather when we are in the city. Too hot and summery and its miserable, but this fresh bright weather in the springtime is absolute perfection. Hope everyone enjoyed as much as us!


Anonymous said...

I think you have how to live life figured out just fine!! Sounds absolutly perfect, not lazy at all, just tranquil, at peace and content. Your daughter is absolutly beautiful and Disney will always be there. You have the gift of seeing the true beauty in every day life. How I wish most of us could slow down and do that.

Nicole said...

No- you're right. Sometimes doing nothing is the best thing to do.