Well, it happened.
It was always a matter of time really; one of those things that you hope will remain a feature of the anecdotes of others, but deep down, you know is coming for you sooner or later. It doesn’t matter what you do, or don’t do, and it certainly doesn’t matter who you are: you simply can’t avoid it indefinitely.
The possibility was always in the back of my mind, of course, but I had hoped to have made it a little further before joining the hordes of those affected.
Still, there is – as I believe there almost always is – a silver lining.
I may have an apartment in Paris; I may have graduated from job probation to permanent employee status; I may even have established my own local boulangerie.
But I wouldn’t really be living la vie française if I hadn’t been impacted in some shape or form by les grèves.
“The what, sorry?”
You know. That most infamous of French clichés; the butt of countless jokes; the bane of every public-transport-user’s life.
Now, to be fair, there are worse strikes and worse ways to be affected. My ‘suffering’ was actually entirely passive: my other half will probably be rolling his eyes when he reads this, since it was actually his flight which was cancelled and he who had to get up at the crack of dawn today to get an alternative. I just had to spend an extra evening/morning pottering around the apartment by myself. It wasn’t exactly all hell breaking loose.
But all the same. It was inconvenient. And, I assume, a mere taste of the havoc les grèves will wreak on our Paris-dwelling lives in the near future. That’s not blind pessimism either: I have been heavily advised to assume this expectation by just about all of my colleagues.
Ah well – at least we’re getting an “authentic” experience, eh?