After giving the French a culture shock about the absence of a mandated 5 week vacation, I was the recipient of a shock. Our hosts were retired. One daughter had two young children and was, as she said, paid not to work.
I turned to the three well-educated 30-somethings at the table (Emile, son of our hosts, Elodie, his amie, and their friend ?? who was so sullen that we never asked her name). "Are you on vacation now?" I asked. Much laughter. "We're not on vacation because we don't work."
I was a little embarrassed and said something about how that was too bad, the economy was bad, blahblahblah.
One said, "Not too bad for us! We don't want the stress of a job." Then they explained that they live on government benefits.
More shock when they asked about such benefits in the USA.
Well, dear readers. You need to know that I am way to the left of most Americans. Perhaps my latent Puritan work ethic emerged.
Are you shocked? If so, at me, at them, or what?