Sorry for the delayed post… I try to stick to a schedule but we all know how that turns out sometimes! Last weekend (June 3-5) was a long weekend in France as Monday was a holiday (the French love their long weekends, which they call a ‘pont’ or bridge, and I am not complaining) and I spent most of the weekend relaxing, working on articles, and exploring the city! Last Monday and Tuesday (May 29-30) I spent working with Maud, continuing to work on the blog website which should go live next week (fingers crossed).
On Tuesday as I came back from work, I was surprised to find a crowd of people accumulated around my metro stop. From the signs and the communist party tables set up, everyone was waiting for Jean-Luc Melenchon, former presidential candidate and now congressional candidate. It was interesting to see how the French participate in political rallies, there was less yelling and a lot more people my age there than I had expected. The French voter turnout for the general election was 75%, which was the lowest it had been in years, but compared to our turnout rate of 55%, I would say that is impressive.
The French congressional elections have the first round this Sunday, and the second round next Sunday. Another interesting tidbit about the French electoral system : it is required that half of the candidates (and ministers for that matter) have to be women (and I haven’t heard anyone complain about it thus far…)
Wednesday, after working for a bit with Maud, she showed me around the 2nd arrondissement, one of my new favorites, while giving me several historical facts along the way (including showing me where Henry IV was assassinated, one of my favorite French kings).
Thursday after working in the morning, Maud and I had a tour of the Galerie Perrotin, a famous contemporary art gallery with three international sections, including ones in NYC and Shanghai.
Friday was our excursion day, and our group of students visited a L’Oréal factory outside of Paris. The efficiency was impressive but sorry no pictures…the process is top secret! That night we ate at Chartier, a traditional French “bullion” restaurant founded in 1896. The bullion restaurants were often for the working classes and even today the prices have been kept low to continue the tradition.
Last weekend, in addition to relaxing and working, I purchased tickets to Stockholm and Prague for after the end of my internship! It will be my first time in Prague and my first time back to Stockholm in over ten years!
Now I just need to continue to budget in order to enjoy my time there…