Monday, March 27, 2006

General Strike!

One interesting happening that I don't think I've mentioned thus far is the continuing student protests and strikes in Paris. Students in Paris and across France have been protesting a recently passed law that allows employers to fire new employees under the age of 26 at any time, without having to give a reason within their first two years of employement. Zosia, who is a student of Political Science at the Sorbonne, hasn't had classes for the past three weeks. Although I've often been known to enjoy a little bit of peaceful protest myself, I'm not sure if I'm so behind the French students this time. Like Zosia so apptly said, "Sounds like what North American graduates have always had to deal with." But, this is an incredibly common way to deal with domestic issues in France, so I'm sure it's fitting.

So why am I bringing this up now? Because tomorrow is the first general strike. Yup, you heard me, general. That means that everyone and their mother is striking. (read about it)About half of the metro trains will be running and most public employees will be smoking cigarettes and hanging out in the parks (that's what I see the French doing a lot). I have two choices: I can ride an incredibly packed subway the 20 minutes to school, or I can walk for about an hour and enjoy Paris at an hour that I rarely really take a good look at it. Sounds like a hard choice, doesn't it?

I'll let you know how the strike goes and if it affects the life of an American in Paris at all. As long as there are still a few people selling baguette, I should be fine.