Happy Birthday USA!! 4th of July! 🙂
Woke up at a decent time and went shopping! I LOVE THE SOLDES.
As I mentioned last year, in January & July it’s MANDATORY for all stores to at least have one sale rack in the back. Everything is marked down at least 20% sometimes more (like that t-shirt I got for 3 euros, 80% off)
I went around the usual places I discovered last year. Going through the stores again I remembered which were my favorite and searched through their stuff. I visited Zara, Promod, Mango, H&M, and of course, les Galeries Lafayette.
I really focused on speaking and thinking in French. Today was a fun, girly day but I also went to continue to have my ear adjust to the way the language is spoken. I also spoke with some of the cashiers and got compliments. YES.
Maybe I’m different than most but when I’m back home, I try to talk to the cashiers at the store. It must be hard to have people just buy something and leave, then there is the others who get really angry because a price isn’t marked down for whatever reason. So I talk to the girl at the counter, “Hey, How’s it going today?” It’s an acknowledgement of, I know that you’re a person and not a machine and I care about you. I mean, some people just don’t want to be talked to and then I back off but I think I might have made a slight fool of myself in Paris.
So at a few of the stores, I tried to start up a conversation in French with the sales people (not to take them away from their job but while they were putting my clothes in a bag and such. So for this one girl I asked, “Comment ca va?” How are you doing?
She stopped in her tracks. “Comment?” (It literally means “What” or “what did you say? but it’s a polite way of asking, the equivalent to our “pardon?”) It’s almost like she’s never been asked this question in her life.
me – “Comment ca va?”
Smiles and giggles, “Oui, ca va.” (Yes it’s going well.)
My stuff was packed up at this time. me – “Bonne Journee!” (Have a good day!)
“A vous aussi” (to you as well!)
Well, I hope it brightened up her day. I asked a guy at the counter of another store and he seemed more receptive, but still weirded out. So friends & family should I keep this up or not? I think I’ll ask my host mom if these words have another connotation in a store setting.
Some of the words I’ve heard being spoken in Paris are definitely not the ones I learned in French class in high school. Just like in America, French people have slang they used on a daily basis. At the Galeries Lafayette
I found a great book to help better understand the French slang, Pardon My French: Unleash Your Inner Gaul by Charles Timoney. This guy is an American (I assume) and his wife wanted to move back to her native country, so he found a job in France. Even with high school years of French under his belt, he felt left-out of daily office conversation and it took awhile to get the hang of many slang words. This book is a sort of dictionary where he lists the word then a detailed explanation of what it means, (in English of course) He lists funny stories/anecdotes about how he and his friends misheard the words or thought they meant something else entirely. I read a few pages on the Metro home.
I like Paris the #2 time around, it’s not as daughting. There is still a lot to discover but at least this time, I have a basic understand of where I’m going and what certain areas have to offer. I definitely feel more comfortable here than I did last year.
My craving last year was Chipotle, I had to wait for that one until I got home but this summer it seems to be Oreos and Peanut Butter.
The kids informed me that France doesn’t just have peanut butter lying on the shelf. During my shopping trip I found this lovely window display:
Feels like home.
I went to see if there was peanut butter and found it – FOR 9,90 EUROS. Umm, I’m not paying almost $13 for a jar of peanut butter.
Luckily Carrefour had another jar for 3 euros, a more reasonable price.
I never thought I’d say this but I’m liking the Metro too. I’m so spoiled in America. By having a car I can go anywhere I want to at any time (also Paris is a much busier town than where I live. Even if I had a car, I wouldn’t be able to get around very quickly.) Riding the Metro creates a nice break in between moving around all the time. Nice time to just sit, relax, read, eat and just be.
When the kids got home we had a lazy day and watched TV. Typically we eat dinner close to 8:30/9 so right after dinner Constantin has to go to bed. It’s hard to get used to. Maybe it would help to go for a little walk afterwards- attempt to burn off the calories.