One of the funny things about moving (well, OK, it’s not funny, but you take your fun where you can get it) is the drastic change in rhythms of life. On the one hand, it’s inevitable: the H and I haven’t moved far, but we’re completely changed our commute time, and our commute schedule (we take half as much time, and the trains are much more regular, but tend to be jam-packed in the evening). On the other… it’s a funny thing to see the differences between the suburbs and downtown Paris: we’ve only moved 20-30km, but the “culture”, for want of a better word, is already radically different. For starters, the timetables are very different: things open up early in the suburbs, but also close very early; and I used to have to come home around 6:30pm, because the shops would be closed if I got there later! By contrast, everything is open late in Paris: our butcher and baker close at 8:00pm, the local supermarket at 10:00pm, and we even have an emergency shop that’s open until midnight every day! However, the laws on having the obligatory day of rest are stricter in Paris, which means that very few shops are open on Sunday: the other day, the H and I wanted some DIY supplies, and the closest open shop which had them was in La Défense, technically outside Paris (and bloody far, too).
All of this means… well, people tend to arrive late at work, and to leave late, and I tend to do the same (at the moment, I’m not entirely succeeding because I keep having various errands). Leaving late also means you miss the rush in the metro; and boy, that’s something that I can gladly do without.
And the sum total of this is, of course, that I’m struggling to reorganise. I used to have a day that started early and finished early, leaving me time to write in the evenings. Now my days start later, and also finish later, and I’m still doing the shopping at that point… I also used to take an all-but-empty bus, which was handy for typing out words; but now I take a packed metro where all I can do is read ebooks (you wouldn’t believe it, but it actually takes space to turn the pages of a hardback or a paperback). I don’t like it, but it looks likely that I’d shift some of the writing time towards morning, in order to have some spare time to spend with the H come evening. Something to think about, at any rate.
(I’m not complaining, btw. Pretty sure things are going to work out, but right now I need a little breathing space to think on my process and how best to kickstart it back into shape)
What about you? If you’ve had any moves, have you experienced rhythm shifts, and how have you adapted to them?