Posted by: rosyroadsadventures | February 1, 2012

Time for Lunch

N 18° 03.77′   W 63° 05.31′

Simpson Bay Lagoon, Marigot, St. Martin



Our French-American friends tell us that taking time for lunch is a tradition they have always followed, even when living and working in the States. A sit-down mid-day meal is a must, and an opportunity to socialize, strategize and recharge. They had very successful businesses and never regretted this practice. Eating a hurried meal alone at one’s desk, driving through a fast food restaurant or skipping lunch in the interest of time are not acceptable options. Lunch is sacred.

We can see this French influence in St. Martin. It is not uncommon for businesses to be closed from noon or one o’clock until two or three pm. They don’t stagger staff schedules, they simply lock their doors.

Even the big Fort Louis Marina on the French side takes a two-hour lunch break.  One time we heard an American-sounding Captain with a distinct Southern accent repeatedly call the marina on the VHF radio just before noon demanding that someone come to the dock to help with their lines. No response.  Another time we heard the dockmaster tell an arriving 60 meter yacht (a BIG boat – almost 200 feet) to come back after lunch!

Imagining a mega yacht patiently floating around outside the marina for a couple of hours waiting for staff to finish lunch seemed incredible to us. I couldn’t help but think about how much business they might lose by annoying customers from other cultures. 

Still, what a way to live!  We have great respect for their values that emphasize making time in the day-to-day routines to fully enjoy life.  

We said “Au revoir” to Henri (seated) and Hildegarde (right) as they sail south. We hope to rendezvous in Guadeloupe. Hughes and Françoise will be sailing north to the BVI's with their family and then back to the States. It has been a privilege to get to know our new friends.


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