A few observations after nearly a week here:
- French “loyalty cards” come with an up-front cost, but then earn not only discounts but cash value that can be spent later. For example, the Nostrum restaurants charge 5€ for the card, but then might discount a 4.50€ Item down to 3.50€; so it takes a very few purchases to make back the initial charge.
- Prime membership on Amazon.com (U.S.) now runs $119. Prime on Amazon.fr costs 49€ (about $56). No doubt the U.S. version comes with more benefits and perks, but that’s a substantial price difference.
- Similarly, FilmStruck, the current incarnation of Turner Movie Channel plus The Criterion Collection, ergo a terrific collection of classic movies, including foreign, runs 59.99€ for an annual subscription in France, about $69. Annual cost in the U.S., including Criterion Collection, $99. Again, available content may vary, but still. . . Update 27/10/18
- Between nearly universal shop and restaurant closings on Sunday and/or Monday, it pays to plan ahead lest I go hungry. With this weekend forecast to be cold and wet, stocking up on Friday is my current plan.
- It’s not uncommon for a French apartment to have a washing machine (i.e., laundry) in the kitchen, even when there’s no dishwasher. And, while combination washing machine/dryers exist, they’re not as common as a “lave linge” and a drying rack to place near a window on a warm day, one hopes.
- (Side note: I took on the lave linge challenge here — it didn’t complete the assigned cycle — and won through native problem-solving skills (that is, pushing buttons and twisting dials until something happens). Small victories can be so satisfying!)
None of these are complaints, mind you, just observations. I’m adaptable. I learn through observation, experiment, and sometimes just looking it up in Google Translate. The challenge I set for myself in the next few weeks is to learn the lingo of the market.