The Joy of a French Strike

I’m still on my Parisian high, even though I’m here in Dublin I’m still intoxicated with Paris, it’s like a drug, every time you go you plan your next trip.

However this is my first trip the French capital where I didn’t get inside a museum, or have any cultural experience at all, all thanks to a French Strike.

Over the years my sisters have endured trips to museums with me, I sometimes have to cajole them, but they come with me. So this visit to Paris was no different, except I wanted to see Les Catacombes, the dark underworld of Paris. Six million people are buried in the catacombs.

So last Tuesday we decided we’d book ourselves a little trip to the darker side of Paris.

‘Ah Jaysus we have to walk about 4km’ my sister declared as she scoured the Parisian Tourist website.

‘Underground too’ she was far from impressed.

‘Ahh No it’s closed and there’s tickets available until Thursday’ I swear I could hear the relief in her voice.

‘We’ll be in Dublin Thursday’ I mused so I did.. ‘right let’s get on the train and head into Paris’ I wanted to be in the hustle and bustle of the city.

At this stage in our trip my sister was unwell and had been prescribed some industrial pain medication and I’d developed an arthritic limp and was dragging my right leg around behind me,  not unlike Quasimodo.

Not a jot did I care, we could do this, for we too could be tourists in this beautiful city.

We ambled along the river stopping off at a café to get some coffee and of course cake. We chatted with nodded at other tourists, we had our photos take on the bridges over the seine.

We checked out the initialed locks on the bridges and tried to remember which films had been filmed there.

‘Now you see me now you don’t that was filmed right here’ I announced

‘yeah ok’ nobody seems impressed with my movie knowledge, which to be fair was a little disappointing.

We headed along the river to the Musee d’Orsay where I have to say a large crowd had gathered. The idea of having to stand in a queue with my limp and a sister who had taken more pain medication, which resulted in a glazed expression was not appealing at all.

‘They’re on strike’ sez she

‘Huh, strike, who’s on strike’

‘Ahh the French’ she may have been unwell but she read the sign in French.

‘Ah Feck the feckni  French’ sez I

We mingled with some American and a thousand Chinese tourists outside the doors of this magnificent building.  We tried to gather ourselves and decide what we should do next, so we sat on the steps and were entertained by this group of wonderful Parisians.

We waited for the older lady to break into song, Edith Piaf style, my sister insisted that she was the eye candy for the group.  She didn’t sing, she went from the French shuffle into the robot effortlessly and we enjoyed every moment of it.

I can’t imagine this group of people in any other city other than Paris.

If the museums had been open we’d have missed these wonderful people and their music, we’d have rushed from Musee d’Orsay to the Louvre but instead an afternoon in Paris was spent listening to music, drinking coffee in the Tuileries Gardens and watching the locals playing Boule.

Paris is a magnificent chic multicultural vibrant city and despite what I’ve read I’ve yet to encounter a rude or unpleasant Parisian.

Thanks to a strike I got to experience more of this city than I ever thought I would.

The Joy of a French strike.


Oh and yes that is me ‘Seriously’ on the video.


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