Be careful about ‘les heures ouvrables’ – opening hours, because many shops close for lunch. Even big stores, like garden centres, often close their shutters at mid-day. We have been caught out many times! Shops will often be closed on Mondays as a result of the strict employment laws that limit how many hours can be worked in a week; shops, that stay open late at the weekend will not open again until Tuesday. One morning, I found myself in town having finished with one student and not having another lesson to go to until after lunch. I thought I would go and have a coffee at my favourite coffee shop –CLOSED. Oh well, I thought, I will go to the bookshop – CLOSED. When a large department store was also closed in the morning, the only place to go was McDonald’s!

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