When I first assumed European responsibilities, but before I had relocated to France, I remember working with a senior team member on a project proposal. He looked at the timeline, and shook his head. "There are many holidays in May for France. It will be very, very difficult to get anything done."
Now I know about Lundi de Pâques/Fête du Travail/Fête de la Victoire/Ascension/Lundi de Pentecôte, about the Pont, and above all the French pastime of connecting islands of holiday into a three week vacance, like a working man's version of Go.
But what if you find yourself in Paris in May, alone in the office, taking calls from the United States, doing the jobs of three of your colleagues? You go to dinner. At a restaurant that doesn't take reservations. Because you are the only one left in Paris.