Tuesday, 3 September 2013

vacay and staycation

Traditionally, August is the month when Germans and most other Europeans take holidays, and there's an old, rather tongue-in-cheek adage against falling ill during that month since hardly a doctor is to be found. I heard a report on the radio on Monday—the first workday after the last huzzah, I suppose, of August, which I thought at first was a bit tongue-in-cheek too, but the topic was addressed with all earnestness and I guess that really reveals where my mindset reverts to.

The callers and the panel of experts sounded like a bunch of recalcitrant school children, dragging their feet and dreading the new academic year, when talking about resuming Common Time for the work year, girding oneself mentally and techniques for easing the transition. I know we have been very bad about travel this year and taking any extended leave of absence (or rather very good from an American point of view, since one rarely hears as a lament “we only took three vacations this year”) and am never eager to return to the day-to-day drudgery—which is only endured for the chance to make the next trip, but I was mortified that I was unable to at first relate and mistook the whole exchange as a lampoon against day-dreamers and leave-takers. There is another adage—that Americans live to work and the rest of the world works to live. I hope I am firmly in the latter category.