Tag Archives: Soldes

Jour 7: Les Soldes encore!

4 Jul

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

Galeries Lafayette
Gorgeous, right?!

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:

Home sweet home
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.

parent trap


Day 37: Shopping après les Soldes

9 Aug

Melinda and I went shopping today.
The Soldes are technically over. However there are a few stores where the sales are extending to August 7th, and that’s where Melinda and I can be found.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned the different stores Paris has to offer.
Of course there are the major brands: Chanel, Louis Vuitton, etc. But who has that kind of money?
A popular store (much like Forever 21 back home) is Zara. It has multiple floors including baby and guys fashion.
I love Zara. Even though it’s based out of Spain, the French love it.
Another is Promod.
This store only carries girl’s clothes but I made my first Parisian buy. Everyone has been wearing these pastel-y florescent colored pants so I bought Peach. (Only 20 Euros, thanks Soldes!)
Peach and Mint Green are very popular for the summer time paired with a white shirt.
I’ve seen the Mint Green pants at home but had a harder time finding peach, so peach it is!
Melinda and I looked in other stores like Pull & Bear and then we ventured the Galeries Lafayette.
This store is much like that Printemps store I mentioned many blog posts back, although things here are actually affordable.
There are 7 levels all containing different things. There’s even a floor for souvenirs.
On the souvenir floor there was a whole library – jackpot.
I spent probably about an hour looking through French books. I bought way too many, but we don’t have these back home and they will definitely help me and the kids I tutor.
Melinda was totally crushing on the cashier (who graciously helped me with all my books and didn’t look at me like I was crazy)
He was pretty cute and hey, he spoke German, she was sold.
Unfortunately she was too chicken to say something and he was working so we left their relationship to serendipity!
Melinda had to watch the kids at 6pm, so we called it a night and I made dinner for myself then planned our day for tomorrow.

Day 16: Day before the Bastille!

16 Jul

Friday, July 13th  – day before Bastille
I had today off except for dropping Constantin at his school. On days when I’m free, Constantin attends this English school nearby so he can receive more practice.

First of all, It’s so cold in the P.
Paris has been kind of rainy recently and not the best weather.
So Constantin went to school. I had planned to go shopping with Court, but she wanted to have a sleepy day, so I went shopping by myself.
I went to La Defense which is known as the business district, there is also one of the HUGEST malls in France: Le Quatre Temps

So I went to various stores and spent a decent amount of money. But I got two dresses and a t-shirt from Zara and a blazer jacket (like many Parisians wear) at Etam.
The material they use is much thicker than dresses found at Forever 21 and other stores, so I rationalized my spending by the realization that these clothes will last longer than normal items I would pick out for 5 dollars each. I mean, it wasn’t that much either, the dresses ended up being $25 dollars (Euro conversion) which is the same price as a dress on the cheaper end in Michigan. THANK YOU SOLDES!
After a day at the mall I was kind of hungry and bought a little treat from The Waffle Factory. Apparently France likes waffles.
This was delicious! Entitled the begère, ingredients were waffle, chicken, goat cheese and tarragon? I actually was not aware of that third one in French and looked it up when I got home. Turns out tarragon is an herb and the French Tarragon is the best. Huh. I’m obviously not a cook.
After my day of shopping I left La Defense to pick up Constantin from school. I got back to St. Germain kind of early, so I had to give Courtney a quick après-shopping fashion show, of course.
I picked up Constantin who had a wonderful and busy day at the school.
After I dropped him off at home, I went to see Evan.
The plan was to go to one of the Bals de pompiers (Firemen’s Ball) which happens the night before as well as the night of Bastille day at various fire stations.
It’s basically a HUGE dance party with loud music and people drunk and having a good time.
I met up with Evan at his place and we decided to figure out his plans from then on.
Evan lives pretty close to the actual Bastille, so even though it was raining cats and dogs, we went and saw the monument that this whole day is about.
By the time we found a bal de pompiers to go to (And meet Liz, who studied French with us in high school) It was getting late and I was about to miss the last train home.
We listened to the music outside of the ball and I danced in the rain. It was pretty cool.
Evan and I had coffee and tea and just enjoyed the atmosphere.
I then took the last train home at 1am. The station was a little creepy, again I wish I had someone to travel with. But it really wasn’t that bad and I had a newspaper to read so that made me less approachable to creepers. *TRAVELING TIP in France* if you look lost or are wandering around aimlessly, people will come up and talk to you. (At least this is in my experience.)  Not the kind of people you want to talk to, but creepers. Lots of them. As long as you say “No thanks” and immediately walk away , you’re good. I just pretend I don’t know French and that tends to work well.
Good night France! See you tomorrow!