Happy belated Fête du Muguet!
In addition to being France’s Labor Day, May 1st is also Fête du Muguet, or Lily of the Valley Day, when people give small bouquets of Lily of the Valley to friends and family to show their love and appreciation and to wish them bonne chance for the year ahead. I love this! As far as I can tell, it seems to be like Valentine’s Day, but more platonic and less Hallmark. In addition, on this day only, anyone is allowed to sell Lily of the Valley – with their earnings tax-free – provided that they (1) don’t set up shop too close to an official florist, and (2) grow the flowers themselves or pick them from the forest (i.e., you can’t buy flowers to resell). This has the charming effect of having dozens of tables of flowers scattered across the neighborhood, lemonade-stand-style, with tiny bouquets available for 2 euro.
I, of course, bought a bouquet for Colin to wish him love and luck in the coming season. But it was also sort of a selfish purchase because today, May 3rd, we had our final immigration appointment to extend our visas past the three-month tourist mark and tomorrow, May 4th (May the Fourth be with you!), we’re headed to Greece for Colin’s next big fieldwork push on an Air France flight, despite the ongoing Air France strike. So I felt like we could both use all the luck we could get.
I’m pleased to report that we are now fully legal immigrants for the rest of the year, and our flight tomorrow appears not to have been cancelled! I’m pretty sure these sweet flowers had something to do with that, so now I’m passing them on to you. Happy belated Fête du Muguet à tous! Lots of love and luck to you all.
And, yes, I’ll fill you in on the joys of navigating the French immigration system another day, but that may have to wait a while because Colin’s put me into his fieldwork schedule as a full-time research assistant, so it looks like my lazy days are fini for now.