Judging by the length of the line this morning outside Boulangerie Ducomte in Antony (a Paris suburb where we were invited to lunch at a friend’s house), the French are still very much in love with their boulangeries-pâtisseries.
The air was laden with moisture and rather cold on that misty morning and all these people could easily have bought their breads and pastries at a nearby grande surface (supermarket) while stocking up on staples. Instead they were patiently and calmly waiting outside until it was their turn to be helped. Despite the national propensity for jumping lines, nobody was shoving anybody aside or pretending to have forgotten something inside the shop in order to be served faster. It was all very disciplined and quite focused as well once the display windows came into view. After all, choosing Sunday dessert is serious business…
Once the cake or pastries daintily wrapped or boxed, it was on to the bread counter and to the cashier.
The line moved forward slowly and methodically and the very same people we had seen shuffling benignly along the half-block and into the store now emerged with their arms or baskets bristling with crusty loaves and walked briskly away, a new sense of purpose on their faces.