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Hopefully the French have once again exhausted themselves and us with their manifs protesting any attempt to restore a sane age of retirement and gone back to business. As opposed to the Great Strike of 1995 (which was based on opposition to Alain Juppé’s attempts to reduce the deficit and increase the retirement age of cheminots from 55 and lasted three weeks during which transportation was truly paralyzed in Paris), this year’s effort seemed half-hearted and ill-timed (running into families’ plans for All Saints Week holidays for the kids).
Even my extremely lefty friends lost interest quickly, and they were the ones at the barricades in 1968, shouting for reform. And while the foreign press showed much interest in busted shop windows and overturning and burning cars, the national press here seemed to yawn.
Everytime a strike is called in France I make contingency plans to get to food, such as:
-buy a bicycle
-eat around the corner
-stock up on eats that will keep
-cancel dates in the deepest 13th, 14th and 15th
-make sure my best walking shoes are out, etc.
And nine times out of ten when I go on my limpies in the morning past the enormous bus terminus on the rue Belliard to check what’s happening there is one barrel of burning timber, one pathetic hand-lettered sheet and a dozen frozen, bored strikers listening to awful music on a boombox. And most importantly, buses gracefully leaving the terminal for their runs.
I recall a minor strike just after Spring opened in the 9th, when I asked Daniel Rose what his plans were if the strike materialized big time – would he be open, what would he do. “Work,” he said, “we’re all scooterized.”
The restos we went to on the strike days of significance this year were:
9 place du Maréchal-Juin in the 17th, (Métro: Péreire)
Menus: Two courses for 38 E or 3 for 46 E, à la carte 80 E.
3, rue Sainte-Beuve in the 6th (Métros: Vavin or Notre Dame des Champs)
Closed Sundays; open for dinner only on Saturday and Monday.
A la carte about 40 E without beverages.
62, Avenue des Ternes, 17th
Closed Saturday lunch and Sundays
A la carte about 50-60 €.
©by John Talbott 2010
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