You don’t realize you’re living in a socialist country, until days like January 9th. It’s illegal to have sales other than the official dates set out by the French government (see previous blog post ). It happens twice a year and lasts for 6 weeks all over France! France is well into the winter soldes (9 January-12 February) . Every store in France has a sale. It’s a shoppers haven right now. There are three markdowns which the prices get lower and lower with each markdown. As we’re approaching the final markdown everything in stores, such as Mango, are 50-80% off! This is the best time for fabulous people like myself, whose closest and wallet are looking empty these days!
Happy Shopping Paris!
If there was ever a competition for the country with the most laws, I’m sure France would win. Along with drinking wine, the French really like to make up crazy laws. These laws make you wonder what the French government does other than passing laws. I’ll be going into detail more about French laws later. So for now, here are some of my favorite laws:
- Landlords are forbidden to evict their tenant for ANY reason from October-April (thus, many French people don’t pay rent during these months). Also, it’s illegal to rent out any living space smaller than 9m2.
- The French government standardized pitch on February 16, 1859 which set the A above middle C at 435 Hz.
- They passed a law on the spelling of ”weekend”. Week-end is French for weekend.
There is so much in this city. The best way to make Paris yours is to discover it for yourself. Throw away your guide books and open your door and explore Paris by foot. You never know who you’ll run into. Last Monday the Finn and I stumbled upon a movie premier. We saw Samuel L. Jackson and Quentin Tarantino!
Yet, if you are in love, it doesn’t matter where you are…Helsinki is for lovers, Stockholm too. But real love is found in family.
Coat: vintage Hennes
Scarf: Men’s Ralph Lauren
Mittens: Finnish, Hand-knitted
Hat: American Eagle
Tights: Doré Doré
Where: A Finnish Forest near Hollola’s medieval stone church.
The key to a surviving a Finnish winter: layers. I’m wearing two pairs of tights and two sweaters. Although I stuck out (everyone has a black coat in Finland), I was easy to spot!
My favorite tradition that the Finns have. At noon on Christmas Eve a declaration is passed stating if a crime is committed from then on, the punishment is double to ensure a peaceful Christmas. Which means, if you cross the street when the pedestrian light is still red, you’ll pay double fines. My other favorite customs are the sauna (yes, we rolled in the snow banks) and how much they love adore glögi.
Finland has many delightful traditions. Lights are very important, I’ve noticed. Every window, regardless if it’s a business or a house, has a candelabra. From far away it looks so pretty and tasteful. Real fire lanterns are placed outside each door as well. This is done because the lack of light Nordic winters have—the sunrises around 9h30 and sunsets around 16h00. The reflection of the bright white snow helps lighten the country.
Finland reminds me more like America than Europe. Finland has a lot of wide open spaces and more of a suburb feel. But then, there’s reindeer meat being served for dinner and that’s when you know you are not in America. However, its easier to get around doing every day errands sans car like France. The buildings are constructed in the functionalism style of architecture and I enjoyed the pastel colored buildings, something you don’t see in America or in Paris. Finland is a beautiful and delightful country!
I went to Finland for Christmas and New Years visiting the Finn’s family. It was glorious. Finland: small and cold but full of love. It was the perfect escape from city living. We laughed until all hours of the night with an endless supply of sparkling, wine, glögi, cloudberry liquor and cognac as perfect snowflakes covered the ground. I came back with dozens of bags from Marimekko, drooled over Lapponia jewelry and fell in love with Iittala (I want a real kitchen!).
*Paris travel tip in the winter: Never trust a French airline. They are known to cancel at the smallest amount of moisture.
Necklace: Besety Johnson (chain only no pendant)
Belt: DYI Goody elastic headband, Claire’s hair pin
Wine Glass: Ikea
Why: work holiday party
Parisians don’t wear color, which I find sad. I love color. With such a bright color dress I kept my accessories black and had little jewelry