Today, as millions of French school children go back to school, I’m off on holiday! Here’s a fond look back at an earlier post on the annual phenomenon that is La Rentrée….
During the long summer break, most people have gone away and, as they say in French, “il n’y a pas un chat” (literally: “there is not a cat”), meaning it’s so quiet you can hear a pin drop. They have rolled up the sidewalks and settled their brains for a long siesta.
Then, as if on cue, it all changes. One moment you’re basking by the pool, idly pondering whether to have an ice cream or a cold beer, and the next thing you know, they’ve packed up all the beach umbrellas and closed the bar. Your provincial town is suddenly showing signs of life. Traffic picks up and horns begin to honk. The shops, virtually empty just last week, are suddenly packed with bronzed refugees loading up on food and school supplies.
C’est la rentrée.
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