Could there be any worse time to leave Paris?
The City of Light is more luminous than ever, after the sunniest spring and summer I’ve experienced during my decade here (a recent wet spell notwithstanding).
Line 1 on the Métro, my fast track to work, is being automated and could thus soon be shielded from the ritual strikes.
And, as austerity bites in several parts of Europe, the French are collectively boarding their ever-expanding fleets of high-speed trains to head for the annual August break — a painful reminder of the long paid vacations that few employees can hope to get anywhere else.
Worse, I’m six months pregnant, the point at which all maternity-related health care here becomes 100 percent state-covered, while my daughter is almost eligible for the free full-time child care offered by the maternelle — state preschools available to toddlers from the age of 3.
On the long list of things to miss about France, the climate, public transport and generous amounts of vacation do of course feature prominently.