Monday, August 24, 2009

France caves on drinking laws

Late last month, France put a new law into effect that requires a person to be at least 18 before he or she can buy or be served alcohol. The limit used to be 16 in certain cases.

It pretty much passed me by because I'm over 18 and I don't do drugs (not even ethanol). I'm sure it disappoints some people (those who are under 18 and do ethanol) and rejoices others (those who are over 18 and do ethanol, and don't like to practice what they preach). Of course, in France, practically everyone drinks, and they don't usually wait until age 18 to start. French people go directly from breastmilk to alcohol and coffee. Cow's milk is for cooking, not drinking. The logic is that milk is for babies. But if one follows that logic, for which species are alcohol and coffee intended?

The new law also specifies that businesses may ask for ID before selling or serving alcohol. I'm sure that will be more honored in the breach than in the observance. I've never seen anyone carded in France (granted, I don't often go to places that are dedicated to serving alcohol). Even McDonald's and Disneyland serve booze in France.

Today was the last day of the summer season of the FĂȘte des Tuileries, as I mentioned before, so no more tasty Greek sandwiches for another few months (they return over the Christmas holidays). That place served booze, too, of course—in fact, it didn't serve any drinks except alcoholic drinks! I always went to a stand next door to buy a soft drink to go with the sandwich and fries. Unfortunately, it cost $14, which is about $13 more than I can afford to spend on meals right now. For the moment, meals consist of pound cake, or some pieces of bacon, with milk or (occasionally) caffeine-free Coke.

The heat comes and goes. The evenings are cool but the days are hot. Overall it's still unseasonably warm and dry. I keep hoping this streak of bad (for me) weather will break, but no sign of that yet.

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