A friend of mine, who had worked as a flight attendant, delighted me with stories of Russian travelers insisting on carrying giant televisions on board when they returned home. I fear I may look a bit similar on my trip to Paris next week. It’s because little things for your apartment–shower curtains, name-brand coffeemakers, plastic hooks that adhere to the wall for a bathrobe and towels–seem to cost so much more in France.
Sure, I could take the half-day, expensive metro trip to Ikea near Roissy. And I have come to discover the Troisfoirien shops, France’s answer to America’s 99 Cents Only chain. But, as you probably know, it’s just not the same. Everything is just so damn cheap in the US, and you get the pleasant customer service as a cherry on top (yesterday at Pasadena Target, a clerk spontaneously gave me 5% off everything, plus a $5 gift card). So, if you see a jet-lagged woman hauling what looks like her life’s possessions up the hill of Montmartre this Saturday, say hi. That’ll be me.