Sunday, March 15, 2009

In France, even the grass goes on strike...

Going on strike in France is a national past time. It's up there with drinking wine and eating smelly cheese as one of the inalienable rights of every French person.

And while the almost constant stream of protest marches can be a tad annoying, you have to admire the average French person's fervent belief that taking to the streets is an effective way to have their voice heard. You may not like the fact that your Vespa ride across the city is interrupted by yet another bunch of chanting refuseniks, but you respect the attachment to and belief in democracy that spurs them on.

But when lawns start to exercise their right to strike, you have to ask if it hasn't all gone a little too far.

I wandered into the Place des Vosges this morning. It was a glorious morning. It felt like the first day of spring. The sky was blue, the sun was shining, the Parisians were borderline pleasant (I even saw one or two smile ... no, really). I thought I would celebrate this uncharacteristically warm March day by stretching out on one of the Place des Vosges four identical patches of finely manicured grass.

But a sign informed me that the grass was off duty. It was having it's winter vacation - its "repos hivernal".

The lawns of Paris clearly have excellent union representation.

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