Often known as the French Happy Hour (or l’apéro) this expression also has a seamier side. It’s known for the traditional hour for the mistress in France. You can probably picture it: business man leaves the office at 5:00 after a busy day and heads over to meet his amant (lover) at a discreet hotel for a drink and more…
Not a new concept for France, but still a reality? I don’t know but it can’t be far from the truth when new services like Day Use (as seen on My Little Paris) are cropping up. Their site “lists all Parisian hotels offering luxurious rooms by the hour, at negotiated prices.”
Love hotels have been around in Asia in places like Tokyo and Seoul for quite a long time. A lot of young people live with their parents until they are married and these hotels provide a means to be intimate with another person. Of course there hotels are used for the traditional affair as well.
The French’s attitude towards the affair is somewhat blasé because they are more open about it. There is the understanding that an amant will remain an amant and not take the place of the spouse. But I can tell you it does destroy many couples and many families despite what you see in French films.
Maybe this post is too morbid for the Friday before Valentine’s Day, but I couldn’t help myself after seeing the My Little Paris post. To read a more uplifting version of the French and love, I invite you to revisit my French Friday Valentine’s post from last year which is much more cheerful!