Tuesday, July 31, 2012
French Summer Wisdom
While normally Parisian social interactions are distant and cold, the sun seems to bring out another, more joyful, and more conversant expression.
Walking through the Places des Vosges, I am immediately struck by the number of people lying on the grass reading books, playing music, chasing toddlers, and just relaxing, taking in the sun.
Despite the ravages of humidity - which is ravenous - summer time in Paris is actually quite lovely. The days are long with the sun rising tentatively before 6am and reluctantly going down around 10ish. For those of us dog walkers, the sunlight, both morning and night, offers better visibility and perhaps a little more confidence with respect to one's own safety during those early morning and late evening walks.
As a foreign guest living in Paris, summer gives me an opportunity to learn new words and expressions that I might not otherwise learn given France's general climate.
The first thing I learned how to say, out of pure necessity, I tell you, was "J'ai rien à me mettre, il faut absolument que j'aille faire du shopping."
Which loosely translated means, "I have nothing to wear. I need to go shopping."
Interestingly enough, this is a phrase that can be utilized during any season and will no doubt carry over for me come fall when the new lines are released.
While I've spotted a few provinciaux roaming the streets in search of women in short skirts, the general atmosphere is of cheerful human beings who know when to shorten the workday to go sit at a café and take in a little of their own French culture.
Summer is when French wisdom is most visible.
T'as vu le soleil?!
Il faut absolument en profiter.
(It's so sunny out! We totally need to go out and enjoy it... )