|Protesters marching on Pont Sully towards Ile St. Louis.|
As is common during French strikes, life in Paris last Thursday was affected in these ways: Fewer than half the lines on the Paris Metro were working normally, many cancellations occurred at Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports, and public services such as schools and post offices were closed as state employees took to the streets. Thankfully, Soren's flight home from Frankfurt was one of the few flights that did not get canceled.
The first grève already occurred on the third day of school. Thursday's strike meant that we now have had our second forced vacation day from school. Not that we are complaining. We'll take a free play day anytime. At least the law mandates that schools and transportation systems must give the public forewarning of the date, time, and location of the strike so alternate plans can be prearranged. And anyway, Raelyn and Nola experienced a real-time civics lesson which looked like a protest march, but sounded like a dance party.
|These "Sarkozy is a racist signs" are a result of France's recent expulsion of Roma gypsies from their Paris encampments. Apparently, they didn't spell-check before mass-producing the signs.|
|The media was everywhere. Filming from on top of bus stops. Standing next to us on our coveted high-up perch that was a sidewalk bench. I almost got clobbered in the head by their big video camera and microphone.|
|I suppose a good time to get sick or injured would be at a protest rally where all of Paris' doctors are present.|
|Officials have warned recently that the risk of a terrorist attack is at a record high but this protester's HazMat getup might be taking precautions a bit too far.|
|Commemorative t-shirts for sale. We realized quickly that many aspects of la grève are similar to a rock concert.|
|Policeman or French model? I suppose that we won't be seeing this guy at our local doughnut shop.|
|I can see the trade unions' logic. I too, would want to move full-time to my country home at the young age of 60 with my hard-earned pension supporting me rather than wait until I'm an old, feeble 62 year-old. Sustainability for future generations- who cares?|
Our reaction to it all: Same issue, different country. But the U.S. sure doesn't have as much fun getting riled up about Social Security reform. If it did, I would buy a commemorative t-shirt.