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One More Reason to Dislike the French

May 5, 2009

The Daily Beast references a Wall Street Journal story that describes the results of a study of national characteristics. According to the study,

by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development, France is the industrialized country where people spend the longest periods sleeping—almost nine hours a day. Compared to the French’s 530 minutes of daily sleep, Americans averaged 518, while Koreans were the most awake with 469. The French also spend over two hours each day eating, which is about double the time Americans spend on their meals. And if that weren’t enough, they hold a third record: 30 annual days of mandatory paid leave, compared with twenty in the U.K., ten in Japan, and zero in the U.S.

This is a country where they drink copious amounts of wine, eat delicious cheeses and fresh bread, enjoy legally enforced short work weeks, have famously relaxed attitudes about sex, possess a glut of the world’s best art and architecture and, now, it turns out that they sleep more than the members of any other industrialized nation.

Maybe it’s true that we criticize the French not because we disagree with them, but because we’re jealous.

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