Thursday, December 08, 2005

Lights, Crabby...Action!

Wednesday: had just enough time to run to grab groceries before catching the metro to the Louvre area to pick up the girls from their sculpture class. I decided to run through Tati one more time, just to see.

And lo and behold--new stock! Including Xmas lights! White ones, without any pink at all! I was stoked. Grabbed a set of 20 sort of large bulb ones (kind of like big pearls) for 3.50 euro. Then I picked up a box of snowman ones just to see what they were.

Wrong move.

Seems they "haven't been coded yet." And "you can't have those!!!" And "don't touch them!!!!"


New lesson learned--go to the store before 11 AM, find really, really crabby sales people who haven't yet had their coffee and croissant and are taking it out on YOU whether you like it or not.

Then I stood in line for about 15 minutes because there weren't enough cashiers, and returning a 1 euro item is like the biggest process in the world, requiring 2 managers and a lot of discussion. Argh.

Finally made it through, and sprinted to Champion to grab yogurt, ham, bread, cheese, soap, toothpaste--the essentials. Plus a 9 euro miniscule tube of moisturizer that should last me about 3 days. Sigh.

But, as I was heading toward the front, I felt pretty pleased that I found a short line. Got my purchases ready, while waiting for the lady ahead of me.

Oh. Now I know why this is the shortest line.

The cashier needed a bath, for one, had drawn on her eyebrows and her lip liner with the same black pencil, and was also a little short on the coffee and croissant. She snapped at the lady ahead of me, TWICE, for not giving her 3 euros in change to make it easier to change her cash. Because I guess counting was out of the question at 11:12 AM.

Oh no, I thought.

I only have a 50 to pay.

(I was shaking in my comfy flats at this point.)

So, as she rang up my items, I threw them in my cloth sack as fast as lightening, so I could make a quick escape when she yelled at me for not having change.


After taking a deep, steadying breath, I pulled out my 50 with an air of false confidence, handed it to her, and looked her point blank in the eye with my patented "don't even think of messing with a Norwegian North Dakotan" look.

She quickly made change, handed me my receipt, and wished me a good day.

Maybe I can't out-french the french, but NOBODY messes with me before noon.



At 1:58 PM, December 08, 2005, Blogger Kat said...

HILARIOUS! I feel like that happens to me EVERY TIME I go to pay for something in France. First, I'm no good at math (I got married so he could do the checkbook...just kidding). Second, hearing numbers in French (though I consider myself to be fluent, numbers are still a challenge at least for a few weeks upon arrival), combined with the nervousness of dealing with French (mostly Parisian) cashiers...oh my lord. Even if she were standing there with a sign asking me for the exact change she needs, I probably wouldn't get it. :) Good on ya, as the Aussies say, for hanging in and not running away!

At 4:35 PM, December 08, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the Norwegian from ND look! :) I've perfected that one with my kids, and with my students. It works well! Doesn't work as well with my husband's German/Scottish/French look from ND though. That usually creates enough friction for an all out brawl! Your Cuz in Williston


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