Posted by: vlibrizzi | March 19, 2009

The French strike: I play hookie

Today the French went on strike. This is not an abnormal occurance. The French strike quite often, protesting almost everything or anything under the sun. Today, they were protesting against how their country is handling the economic crisis. If you’d like to read more about it, I have posted a New York Times article about today’s strike below:

As you can see in the article, the buses, trains, subways…all forms of public transportation…were either stopped today or severely delayed. For example, at the train station yesterday, I read that there are only about 7 trains going into Paris today from Fontainebleau, and the metro line that I usually take to class has only 1 in 4 trains running. 

My French teacher said that people who live far away should not even attempt to come into Paris, and when C. asked a Parisian friend of his at INSEAD if I should go into Paris, he just laughed.

Interestingly, the French seem to be really divided about these protests. Some find protesting to be a way of life in France—something they fought long and hard to be able to do. But other people just find it all to be a big nuisance….and,  not being French, I clearly fall into that category. 

But since the weather was so nice (about 60 degrees and sunny), and my friends were taking a day trip to Moret for lunch and sitting by the Loing river, it wasn’t very difficult after all to convince me that I should not go to class in Paris. I felt guilty about missing my class and, of course, worry that I’ll miss something important, but what am I going to do? 

The French are on strike, and so am I for the day. So, lunch along the Loing river, here I come!


  1. When I visited Paris for a week, there was a strike starting on Day 2. We had planned on taking the Metro everywhere and at first it was not running at all, then gradually every day a few more trains were added. We had to walk EVERYWHERE, several museums we wanted to visit were either closed or partially closed, and we almost missed going to Versailles. So I agree with you that les greves are more a nuisance than anything else! But glad you got a nice day out of it.

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