Tuesday, April 13, 2010

J'adore: Shopping In Paris

And no, not the kind of shopping you might think, although I have done my fair share of that kind too. No, the shopping I'm taking about it grocery shopping. And to be completely honest, it's been a bit of a love hate relationship. Things don't always taste just right, sometimes I have bought the wrong thing completely (like the day I used the kind of sugar you only use for jam in brownies and they ended up very sour), and, you know, everything on the groceries is written in FRENCH.

The nerve.

But today I did what I am guessing will probably be my last "big" shopping trip, one where I have to take the trolley and get a major work out getting up the stairs because it's close to overflowing. And it made me a bit sad. I do not for one instant miss my car and driving to do my errands, and I have to say that is probably the thing that I will miss most from living here: the self reliance of walking everywhere, or even taking the metro. I do have to admit that I have a really nice grocery store right across the street and another good one around the corner, so there is no slogging the groceries on the metro like I had to do on the tube in London when we lived there. So I am spoiled that way, and it takes a ton less time to walk and do my errands (even when I pick up bread at the bakery and fresh veggies on Rue Cler) than it does when I drive at home. And I will miss Rue Cler; it is beautiful.

But really, I just hate cars. And I am lucky enough to have a good one that's fairly new and in good shape. But I love briskly walking the neighborhood with my ugly, hunter green trolley with electrical tape on the handle, keeping up with all the amazingly beautiful, impeccably dressed French women pulling their (not so shabby) trolleys to do their errands. It makes me feel like one with Paris, and I feel the pulse of the city around me. I feel alive when I run my errands here, and at home it just seems like a blur of turn signals and stop lights and looking forward to getting it over.

I will miss the Carrefour City. And it's theme song that plays as you're shopping "Carrefour, Ci-tay." Although it does come in second to the theme song at the Franprix around the corner "Franprix, votre grocery préfere, Franprix." And I love that the Carrefour is open from 7 AM to 11:45 PM. And on Sundays from 9 AM until whenever they feel like closing (which is probably about 1PM). I'm not kidding. I love and hate that about the French: they are very protective of their downtime.

So it was with a heavy heart today I carried my heavy shopping trolley up the steep, winding staircase to our apartment.

But hey, I'm looking at the bright side. At least I can sing along to my iPod when I run my errands avec car at home. Believe you me, the French would not like it one little bit if I walked down Rue Cler singing Feist at the top of my lungs.

The nerve.


Steven Ricks said...

I'll miss it too--though I never do the shopping. :) But I'll miss the walking, metro, etc. But I still think I'll lose weight at home--less walking, but also fewer pastries. xoxo

M-L said...

The good thing is that you will still be able to drag your 'poussette de marché' to the Crémerie! I am sorry you have to leave Paris especially because we are just about to get there.