Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ouverture Non Stop

The shops in France are closed on Sunday. I should have known this. It is romantic, a balm to the consumerism of Ireland and the US. People take time off for lunch and still believe in a day of rest. A slow and easy lifestyle is what we've dreamed of for years.

It's only that in our dreams we didn't arrive on Sunday afternoon with three hungry and tired children. We decided to give it a go and find somewhere for a quick take–away or maybe one shop open with bread and lunchmeat. We drove and drove, shops taunting us from behind closed shutters, kids complaining and tired.

Then, there it was. The sign of life we'd been searching for--an InterMarche proclaiming: Ouverture Non-Stop! As Paul turned into the strangely vacant parking lot our hearts fell. Again, closed shutters, no sign of life.

The ouverture non-stop carried a hidden message that we Americans didn't at first decipher. Of course it meant non-stop, but only between the hours of 8am to 8pm and only Monday through Saturday. Non-stop is something different here. The closed on Sunday is implied, understood.

So it was back to the house, which thankfully had dried pasta and jarred sauce in the cupboards from previous holiday makers. There was even a bottle of red wine. I whipped up a quick dinner like on one of those cooking shows where you have to make something in 15 minutes using only four ingredients. Et voila! Our first home cooked dinner in France was cheese tortellini with Sainsbury's basil and garlic pasta sauce.

Tomorrow is Sunday again and I'm ready for it. Cupboards and fridge stocked. This easy going way of life is for me after all.



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