Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work we go…except on Thursday. In fact, I won’t be going anywhere at all. Not when there’s a huge strike announced for the day. Sure, there will be almost 100% bus and tram service, about 60% metro service, and 30% train service, but I’d rather not deal with the angry commuters (those who have to go to work, strike or no strike). The unions claim it will be the biggest strike since 1995 (which was the biggest strike since 1969).
There will be flight delays and cancellations at both Paris airports. All of the public service and private sector workers have been called to strike, so no point in going to the post office or the social security office or to the bank. Because even if they’re open, and even if the workers aren’t on strike, they may not be able to get to work. Museums may have to close off wings if there aren’t enough employees present.
I don’t have any tours Thursday (sigh of relief), but I did plan on taking my car back in to have the turn signals fixed before my big road trip next month. Usually this isn’t a big, taking the car 15 minutes outside the center of Paris to a speedy service station where they take everyone without reservations. But there will be deadlocked traffic (those who live outside Paris will drive into the city instead of taking the trains), possibly road blocks from big marches in my neighborhood (the Place d’Italie being one of the big rally points for protests), and likely only half — if any — of the employees at the garage even working.So why bother trying?
I’m going to stay in, maybe work on my guidebook updates or cook up a stew with the leftover veggies from juicing. If you have to go out, be prepared for long waits for the metro, crowded cars, and the possibility of wherever you’re going being closed. Wear comfy shoes and walk if you can bear the cold. At least Fashion Week will be over so you can curl up at home or in your hotel with the latest fashion magazines. And don’t fret too much. One day is not a big deal for a strike. After all, the whole island of Guadeloupe has been on strike for a week and the massive storm that ravaged the southwest of France has left 600,000 people in that region without electricity, phones, or in many cases running water since Saturday.