Back to Work!!!
According to TF1's news site, the strikes are winding up today, with a progressive return to normal public transportation service. Supposedly there will be 70% service by this evening, at least on the RATP (Paris metro/bus/tram). There are still a few marches "au sauvage" (without police escort) outside my window...they appear to be small groups (40-50) of students, who may be still striking.
On Tuesday I had about 20,000 marchers outside my window from 11am until 5pm, with their drums and flares and loud music and bullhorns and snack trucks and hoards of disgruntled unionists plastering the neighborhood with their flyers and stickers. The dogs were going nuts, and poor Pedro had to go to the vet for an emergency surgery by the end of the day, and so I actually had to cross the line of marchers, and got yelled at for it. Nice. If I had a good arm, I'd start launching doggie poop sacs at them from my window. As if it would do any good. Sigh. I did manage to get across town on the automated Line 14 (a quick 20-minute walk from my flat) to the Tourism Office. I was trying to pre-purchase Versailles tickets for a group of mine, but they refused to sell them because they couldn't guarantee it would even be open if the strikes were still on today. I managed to move the tour to tomorrow, but I feel bad for all of the other visitors who were there and obviously distraught that their vacations were severely compromised. Maybe for some it seems silly to put someone's vacation before someone else's political battle, but as you know, coming to Paris can be very expensive for some people, and to plan and save for ages only to have everything messed up by selfish government subsidized employees....well, this is simply one aspect of French society that I'm not going to defend. Thankfully, it seems more and more French people (and the new government) aren't keen on tolerating the disruptions either.
To be continued....