Bonjour from France. I had a splendid time during my European business trip and wished I had spent less time working and more time wandering and exploring. I had very little time to myself since we were in all day meetings and then all night dinners. One dinner was four hours and seven courses long. It would not have been so bad if jet lag had not started to creep up on me on course number two.
In France, I did manage to get 30 minutes of shopping in. Usually that is enough time to do some major damage, especially since my coworkers had already showed me where the shops were. Unfortunately, all of the shops closed around 7 pm. Don’t they know I had Joyeux Noel shopping to start? I consoled my credit card with a treat from the patisserie. I felt so French drinking my cafe (concentrated coffee in a container smaller than a dixie cup), eating my croissant as I traipsed through the cobblestone streets in my beret with cigarette in hand. Well, I did not actually have a beret or cigarette, but the French women made it look so cool.
Before we dive in to my few French photos, I would like to mention a some noticeable difference between French and American business culture.
1. It is not only acceptable, but it is expected to have wine during lunch. Understandable if you are going to a restaurant, but at a catered lunch in a conference room?
2. A two cheek kiss is not considered sexual harassment, but a work greeting. Thankfully it was not applied to the Americans.
3. Everyone leaves work at 5 pm. The hosts were practically shoving us out of the door at 4:30 and were visibly irritated that we were there until 6 pm.
I could get used to 2 of the 3 items on the list.
Here is what you come here for. My great artistry expressed through eye of the lens. No? Just my vacation photos? Either way, here is Toulouse.
All of the streets off the square were decorated with lights
Up next: Rome!