28 June 2010

vous êtes ici

Yes, we are in France indeed.

This morning, I took two of my husband's suits to the cleaner. I was on my way to the grocery store, which is one block away from the dry-cleaning place. I walked six city-blocks to get there, and I had M's suits in my rolling cart so I wouldn't have to carry them (*1).  The thing is, grocery shopping was my No.1 priority this morning and I wanted to get it over with quickly, and I was so excited that I could manage two errands on one outing (*2) that I had completely forgotten about the high likelihood that the cleaner wasn't open until 2:00 p.m.

Why isn't it open until the afternoon? Because it's Monday, you silly (*3)!

I stood there for several seconds, in front of the door that said "Hours: Monday 14h00-18h00....". I looked in my rolling cart, wondering if M's suits haven't shrunk in volume since I left our apartment and perhaps there would be enough space to go on grocery shopping.


So back to the apartment I went, six city-blocks, just to empty the rolling cart so I can go grocery shopping. And the same six blocks I walked again, then past the cleaner, and one more block to the supermarket.

So, to answer your question: "What do you do all day, living in lovely France? Are you spending your time at the museums? Or at a sidewalk cafe, sipping café au lait every day? (*4)"

My days are spent running errands. And occasionally failing to run one. And blogging about them.

*1: I can do this on the way TO the cleaner. When I pick the suits up, however, I would have to carry them by hand, or they'll get all wrinkled. Have you ever carried men's suits and walked six blocks? Do you kow how heavy they are?

*2: Because I do my errands on foot, the amount of things I can carry is very limited. If whatever I just bought is too heavy or too bulky, I have to go home first to drop it off before I can go on to the next errand.

So why don't I drive, you ask? Obviously you've never tried to find parking inside the city during the day. Plus, our apartment building doesn't have a garage, and our car is parked in the underground parking facility a few block away from our apartment. So there's no point in buying more stuff than I can carry on myself at one time, or I would have to make multiple trips between the apartment and the parking, taking the elevator up and down here, and the elevator up and down there.

IF the elevators are working, that is, but that's a different post (coming up soon, perhaps).

*3: A lot of individually-owned stores don't open until 2:00 p.m. on Mondays. Many of them also close early on Saturdays (and stay closed on Sundays). The hours between Saturday 5 p.m. and Monday 2 p.m. are the "dark hours of shopping." I should mention that our local post office doesn't open until 2:00 p.m. on Mondays, either. Thankfully, many supermarkets are now open even on Sundays (morning only), and I can always count on that corner boulangerie to be open early Monday mornings.

*4: Surprise! You can't order café au lait at cafes in France. It's evidently something little kids drink at home in the morning, and not served at cafes or restaurants.  You will have to order caffè latte and be okay with it or order cafè allongé  and ask for some milk (be prepared to get a funny look).


J. et K. said...

This blog post is amazing. I love it. I adore it. It makes me feel like much less of an grump to know that others go through these same experiences and it's NOT JUST ME.

However, I do realize we get some awesome once-in-a-lifetime experiences that balance out days liek these. Hope you get one soon!

Heidi Leon Monges said...

oh God, this is hilarious. I've been there. ALL the scenarios. lol

Vive la France! :-)

ps, so, yes I KNOW how heavy a couple of mens suits are.

cocopuff1212 said...


*YOU* have days like this, too????
Now I don't feel so inadequate!


Thank you for visiting!
Oui, oui, vive la France :D!

Gabrielle said...


cocopuff1212 said...