Vanilla Randomness
Procrastination Monday

Where did you go on vacation?

This is a safe question to ask any French person and they will be more than happy to respond and equally happy to hear your response.  Vacation time is something taken very seriously in this country.  I am used to my 2 weeks plus stretching it to perhaps 3 weeks of vacation if I can call in a "sickie".  The French get 5 weeks.  FIVE WEEKS, People! Some companies just shut down for the month of August and force you to go on vacation. Of course, my company isn't like that being a Korean company. But still... there are French people here who are milking their vacation for all it's worth.  I must learn the way of the French vacationing.

Just today, walking to lunch I saw a couple colleagues that I don't really talk to very much but they stopped and did the obligatory bises (kisses) with me and then there was the split second of 'what-do-we-talk-about-now" when one of them piped up, "Tu pars ou en vacances?".  I explained where I was going and ended the conversation very promptly by saying that I was already on vacation in my head. Mutual laughs from both parties as they agreed they were too mentally on vacation and we parted ways. 

After speaking with another a very good friend of mine who happens to be an expat, we both agreed that this is one topic the French will never get tired of. She even has a French friend who keeps an excel document with all his friend's & colleague's vacations listed so that he knows when so-and-so is out of town and to keep track of who he's had the vacation conversation with.  I realized how handy this was after I asked another one of my colleagues yesterday (who I see rarely) where he was going on vacation and he said that the last time I saw him I had already asked him that.    So, after snickering about how the vacation excel document was a silly idea, I'm starting to think maybe it isn't that silly.