But, I was in the position where I really needed to run some errands, and he really needed to work on his mèmoire, besides, he can't hold my hand all the time.
So. Off I went, big girl panties on, Velo'v card securely packed in my backpack, earbuds in ears, hard American rock rattling my brain and off I headed.
First stop was BNP Paribas because they are reciprical with my home bank, thus no charges, no fees to pull out cash.
I p0wned that machine. *beep beep beep*, money came out,
Sometimes I am truly amazed by the bread prices in France. I scored a baguette (for Mme Lebegue downstairs) and a banette (a crispy baguette-y bread with what I like to think of as "seuss toe" ends) for only 1.70 €.
Even in dollars, that's like... $2.14, so like a buck a baguette.
It's because everyone eats bread, every day, and because of that the bread is baked fresh, every day, so because of that and the lack of preservatives, it goes bad, every day, thus people end up buying a fresh new baguette, every day.
French weight loss is more than the "french paradox", we walk everywhere to get the meal on our plate; so we really earn our dinner.
Another joy of mine is the "Bail Distribution" across the street which is a "producer's market".
The small local company buys all this beautiful produce from farms in the surrounding area.
After they sell it in their little shop. Unfortunately, there are only two of these, and even more, they are really outside of the inner city. We had luck in this small apartment, it's across the street.
An example of some amazing prices would be the following photo, I'll tell you how much just what's in the picture cost from the market...
In Oregon, these products would break down like this (using Safeway's prices):
1 Green Pepper - $1.00 (each)
1/2 pound Mushrooms - $2.49
1 pound peaches - $1.99
1 pound tomatoes - $2.18
1 eggplant - $1.52
1 pound pears - $1.59
1 bunch basil - $2.00
1 bunch cilantro - $1.89
1 head garlic - $.90
2 onions - $1.50
GRAND TOTAL OF: $17.06
Now let's compare to my producer's market, direct from the receipt:
1 Green Pepper - €0.49Wow. Well, just to exaggerate the difference, let's look at that visually:
1/2 pound Mushrooms - €0.89
1 pound peaches - €1.21
1 pound tomatoes - €0.90
1 eggplant - €0.57
1 pound pears - €0.88
1 bunch basil - €0.60
1 bunch cilantro - €0.60
1 head garlic - €0.61
2 onions - €0.31
GRAND TOTAL OF: €7.06 and in dollars --> $8.97
Worse is for example, eggs, milk and simple things like that.
Let's look at a baguette from St. Honoré in Portland, they sell their "baguettes" for $2.25 each baguette, which is around €1.78 here... our baguettes, GOOD quality are only about €0.70 to €0.90 centimes, or about $1.00. Again that's a 50% mark up.
from the internet. Note the left is store bought, bright yellow = bad condition, the right, deep yellow = good conditions
You can by 6 vegetarian fed, free range eggs for about $1.32. Safeway's mark, "O: Organics" sells a box of 12 for $4.39, which is $2.19 for 6; again almost 50% more.
Milk is especially interesting to me. Here in France, all of our milk is pasteurized and packaged to be able to be outside of the fridge. In the U.S. it has to constantly be refridgerated, and actually, the taste sucks.
Our milk looks like this --->
Comes in 1 liter containers, sells for about €1.08 per liter, which is like 1/4 of a gallon... so about $5.00 a gallon. It seems expensive, but in reality the milk can last longer and doesn't expire as quickly, and it organic and produced locally.
One gallon of Horizon Organic milk runs for about $6.39... are you seeing the difference here?
Worse, foods like cheetoes and terribly over processed frozen foods sell for around $1.05...
How is that possible that a green pepper is the same price as a budget gourmet??
All-in-All, it's something I'm going to sit on for awhile.