±JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
±Compare Expat Providers
±Expat Focus Partners
±Latest Financial Articles
· Expat Focus International Finance Update 14 March 2017
· Do Expats Really Need An Offshore Bank Account?
· American Living Abroad? Here's How To File Your Tax Return
· Where Do The World's Highest Paid Expats Live?
· Expat Focus Financial Update 08 March 2017
· 5 Reasons to Move to the Glittering Shores of Cyprus
· Expat Focus Financial Update 01 March 2017
· Expat Focus Financial Update 22 February 2017
· Expat Focus Financial Update 16 February 2017
±Latest Health Articles
· Expat Focus International Healthcare Update 16 March 2017
· Coming To The UK? Here's What You Need To Know About The National Health Service
· How Can Telephone Counselling Help Expats Dealing With Loneliness Abroad?
· Expat Focus International Healthcare Update 02 March 2017
· Expat Focus International Healthcare Update 27 February 2017
· Could Moving Abroad Be The Key To Improving Your Health?
· Expat Focus International Healthcare Update 03 February 2017
· Expat Focus International Healthcare Update 20 January 2017
· Expat Focus Healthcare Update 06 January 2017
getting back to normal after the summerBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Sharon Revol: La Rentrée - getting back to normal after the summer
About the Author
Sharon Revol has been living in France for the last 14 years and is married to a Frenchman. Her daily experiences of life in France can be read at pigletinfrance.wordpress.com
You see, those two words actually mean so much more than just the start of a new school year. La Rentrée is very aptly named as it is synonymous with the start of everything in France, almost like the start of a new year except it takes place in September rather than January and you don’t make New Year Resolutions (although I’m sure if I searched hard enough I would find some French people that do!)
It would have been helpful if I had also learned that trying to get anything done during August in France (and sometimes even July) is a complete waste of time. Want to see your Doctor, an accountant or have your hair cut? Forget it, they’re all absent during the summer.
Even our local shops shut down for a month so we are left without being able to buy the very staples of French cuisine which we have come to rely on. No crispy baguettes to accompany the fresh cheese from the cheesemongers or to accompany the fresh vegetables from the greengrocers or tender meat from the butchers. The only option left for us is the local super market and their inferior quality of produce, exactly what we have come to avoid!
Heaven forbid that you have a serious problem during the summer with anything requiring a tradesman, such as an electricity problem or water leak – you’ll have to wait until September!
|Wish I was there!|
Living in a large city I wonder how many people really do go away during the summer for such a long period of time. It is true that the streets are deserted, most public car parking becomes free of charge and traffic jams and rush hour are just a bad memory but I wonder just where everyone could possibly go and how they can afford it?
Another mystery of French culture is just how small businesses survive during the summer months. They must be making far too much money during the rest of the year and have obviously not felt the negative effects of the recession if they’re able to shut up shop totally for a whole month. They must have a lot of confidence that their clientele aren’t fickle, although having said that, there’s not many places to jump ship to!
Come September, all the businesses reopen and the streets are once more congested with crowds, honking cars, tremendous traffic jams and pollution. The quiet of the summer months quickly becomes a distant memory. If all of that wasn’t too much of a reminder of La Rentrée, then the start of more French strikes and public service chaos will make sure that you well and truly realize that it’s back to business! I can’t say I missed the strikes during the summer months; maybe it was worth going without fresh bread after all?
Sharon Revol has been living in France for the last 14 years, is married to a Frenchman and has written business columns in the UK as well as articles about French life for various publications. Her daily experiences of life in France can be read at pigletinfrance.wordpress.com
Expat Health Insurance Partners
Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.
At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.
Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.