They call Americans workaholics. They work, work, work, work, work and then work some more. Some have to do so just to make ends meet and there is no other option. Others do it because they want to have more and more, bigger and bigger, and be better than their neighbors. Yet, there is no doubting that Americans are hard workers.
Yet with all this work, are their lives missing something? Maybe, a bit of life itself? A moment to sit at a café and feel the sun on your face, a half a day to just have a couple of cups of coffee and play with your kids (aka pets ;-)), or just for no reason at all but to relax. This, I feel, is the mentality of many Europeans. When they drink a wine, they enjoy every tiny sip (or large depending on the beverage). When they eat any cuisine, they really indulge and appreciate what they are eating. When they have a conversation, they are utterly dedicated to this conversation.
They definitely are hard workers but the mentality is completely different. Try finding fresh bread on Sunday……not happening (good bread anyway). Even try finding it on Monday….probably not happening. Then try finding much open in August….probably not happening either.
Sadly, more and more of France is becoming Americanized and stores are starting to open on Sunday and Monday, but they hold true to their traditions. Enjoying life. Taking that hour and a half lunch to really enjoy the food, taking those 3 days off a week (depending on your job) to really enjoy life. Now this is not to say that stores are open on those days, but the rest of us are not in them because we are out enjoying life!