When do people work?
OK, it is a fact that the working hours in France in major different from the Swedish one. In Sweden we start earlier to be able to go home before the evenings get to dark, and yes there is as always not applicable to the service sector.
In France you begin later, have lunch later and work kind of forever. Still after three years those facts still makes me wonder how the French have time for anything, but fact is I’m the strange bird here. And after years raise up early and be able to have hours after work to do things is kind of in my genes, I am more productive in the mornings than in the evenings. A situation my more South European co-workers don’t agree with at all. Culture differences raised from the sun raise and set. With the French way of living a Sweden would never see the sun, EVER.
BUT one thing is the same in both Sweden and France.
- Monday morning, not chaos in the Metro or buses, there are people but as a commuter you do not feel the need to fight for your right to take a place on the commute alternative of your choice.
- Tuesday, what? Is it a holiday? Why is the Metro empty? Why is it only Japanese tourist? Yes the Japanese tourists start early here in Paris, while Tuesdays in Stockholm have the same feeling but without the early bird tourists.
- Wednesday, OK, what happened now? Why is all of Paris suddenly on their way to work at this hour? Your choice is to either piggyback or by force rip off your co-commuters backpacks (still one of my favorite French words: “SACK-A-DOOOO”, of course you say it tilting your head and face the moon like a wolf). Why on Wednesdays? And it’s the same in Stockholm.
- Thursday, more or less like Wednesdays but with some luck depending on the time between buses and metro there are if not empty carriages at least with some room and no need to fight for your life to get on.
- Friday, not a soul… Empty. And I understand this in Sweden since so many office workers for some reason always feel the need to work from home cause they need to concentrate, ON FRIDAYS. But in France not so many have the possibility to work from home and to believe they by choice start later on Fridays so they can get home later is kind of not a believable option. So what are people doing on Friday’s if not working? Cause the way home is the same if you compare it to other weekdays, not many people on the bus or metro. Maybe people take their car to work on Fridays to get home faster, but since the rush hour in Paris or Stockholm don’t offer the option to get to work or home fast don’t think so.
In any case, it’s a thing Paris and Stockholm have in common and I am equal surprised of it.