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When Paris Empties Out In August, Some Are Happy To Stay

"You can forget working. You can also forget making a doctor's appointment, getting your car fixed, visiting your accountant or just about anything else you might want to get done. Nearly everyone is gone, and everything has to wait until September."

"With the city half-empty, many shops are shuttered. Some proprietors tape little handwritten notes to their doors announcing their fermeture annuelle."

"'Annual Closing – we will reopen September 1st,' reads the scrawled message on one of my neighborhood butcher shops."

"An American friend who recently arrived in Paris was so struck by how empty the city was that he asked me if there was some sort of French government regulation mandating that people take their vacation in August. It made me laugh, but in fact there are actually terms for those who take the month of July off and those who take August. They're called Juillettistes and Aoûtiens. The two are irreconcilable. And just when the Juillettistes are coming home, the Aoûtiens are heading out, creating the biggest traffic jams of the year."

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