The sales! The sales! The sales are upon us!
Yesterday was the first day of the official French sales, and also a day off of language school. So what did we do? We went shopping... for groceries! With the help of some American friends in Paris, we loaded up in a van and went to a ‘centre commercial,’ pretty equivalent to an American shopping mall, but one side was a giant grocery store. We walked through the mall and saw retail shops of all sorts announcing their sales. 20%, 30%, 40%, even 50% off! We have boots in black, dark black, light black, charcoal, and even gray! I love that just outside our apartment is a billboard advertising a popular laundry detergent made especially for washing black clothing. The mall was literally packed with people, on mid-day Wednesday, and everyone in a rush to grab their things and get in the massive lines at the registers. We did find a few items that came in handy, and became a part of the masses shopping for discounts.
Then it was back to the grocery store we went. Since we had some french-speaking Americans with us, we picked up everything possible while we had the help of interpretation to make sure we really were buying ham, milk, olive oil, juice and the other necessities. It was kind of funny really, everyone else was rushing through the stores to take advantage of the deals, much like an American Black Friday, but here we were simply filling our cart with groceries. A few people looked at us like we were nuts when we went trotting through the mall with a full shopping cart of groceries, trying to avoid collisions at every turn.
The coolest discovery of the day was the method for going up and down floors. Instead of the moving stair escalators we’re used to, or even elevators, this mall had motorized ramps. Sort of like the moving walkways at airports, but angled up or down 30 degrees. Sure, they were a bit longer than escalators, but you could pack people more tightly on them, and you could walk right on with you shopping cart, which would lock down to the magnetized floor with its metal wheels. Pretty neat, huh?