The sixth in the series of vignettes and pensées written by my husband, David Wolf, on an extended stay in Paris one early summer. May your day allow you a little time to catch up on your own reading, thinking, and intellectual pursuits.
Vive La France
The hotel proprietor and I are talking (in English) as Wini and I wait in the open entryway for a taxi to the airport. The subject of vacation time comes up. I have told her that I teach and thus have summers “off,” explaining to her what that means for college professors.
“Still, you are fortunate,” she says.
“Yes, that’s true. Having worked in the corporate world for several years, I certainly appreciate it.”
“As you know, we have a minimum of six weeks vacation, mandated by the government. Holidays also.”
“Now that’s a civilization,” I reply.
I don’t understand your culture,” she continues. “With only two or three weeks of vacation each year, when do Americans have time to catch up on politics, on reading, thinking, on their intellectual pursuits?”
My laughter is so loud it attracts the attention of two gendarmes across the street.