Back From Paris – A Grève Survivor!

As you may have guessed from my last post, we have been in Paris for the last 2 weeks tending to the completion of our latest apartment, Jardin Saint-Paul.  Sue and I worked around the clock, scouring stores for drapes, artwork, dishes, and the various little items in which to furnish the apartment.  In addition, I helped the crew with the final stages of construction, cleaning and getting the apartment ready.  Unfortunately, there was little time to play the role of tourist, although we did have a chance to visit some close friends in Saint Denis for a couple hours one Sunday.

 greve-gare-du-nord.jpg  While there, we experienced firsthand the French transportation strike (le grève) that started on November 14th.  The city was extraordinarily quiet, it seemed, that first day, as many shopowners were unable or decided not to open that day.  The highways were a total mess, and every taxi and available bicycle was in use all day.  The Metro system was barely functional and always jam packed and running late if at all. We had plans to treat ourselves to a ballet at the Opera Garnier on the 15th, but found out that day that the ballet was canceled because that union also went out on strike. Our last encounter with the effects of the strike came on our departure home, when we learned that our airline crew went out on strike in sympathy, leaving us to board a sardin can of a rented private charter.  Other than that, Parisians tended to groan a lot and otherwise take everything in stride. All in all, an interesting experience!

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