Bloomberg Businessweek

The Importance of Being Idle

Washington is wrapped up in getting work done—even if a hot August won’t produce anything. Time to take a break

Gina McIntosh was born in France to Italian parents, is married to a Canadian, and runs a bed-and-breakfast in Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt—about an hour-and-a-half drive north of Marseille—that caters to travelers from all parts of Europe as well as South Africa, Australia, and the U.S. So she knows a thing or two about different nations’ attitudes toward time off from work. Nobody, she says, takes vacations as seriously as her fellow French: “French people, for sure, they take their vacation in August. That’s not even a question. You can’t touch the vacation of French people. That’s part of their right. They fought for it. It is something that is very engraved in

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