Yet another hot day! So much to see and do, but somehow, a day of doing nothing seems suddenly very appealing to us and to our hosts. The children jump in the pool and practice their play while the adults do the kind of boring things adults do when they don`t have kids to take care. One is shopping for food. I decide to go to the local Hyper U Marché and pick up stuff.
French supermarkets sell everything. Books, electronics, clothes, appliances, contact lenses, wine, liquor and, uh, oh yeah, groceries. You can tell French tastes are different than back home…the yoghurt aisle, for example, is huge…a big as the dairy, eggs, cheese and frozen food aisle combined. Thomas is in heaven since he can count dozens of different brands of lemon yoghurt. I didn`t even know such a thing existed.
I thought I`d treat David`s children with hotdogs — something you don’t often see here — but fail at finding regular hot dog weiners. I find something similar, it seems…strasbourg sausages. Close enough. Now for the buns. Hot dog buns are sold in packages of 4, each bun individually sealed because, well, you never know when you`ll only want one hot dog. It costs 2 euros. Right beside are small, hot-dog size baguettes, 12 for 3 euros…hmmmm, I wonder. Tomorrow we dine on baguette dogs!
Then there`s other stuff. All kinds of sausages and mystery meats with names I`ve never heard of but that look like those things my mother used to make that had clever names that didn`t actually reflect what she was serving…like “boudin”…aka blood pudding. Anyways, no matter how they tarted it up, there was no way I was going to for this.
On the other hand, one thing the French are civilized about is the necessities of life. You can pick up a bottle of scotch for 12 euros and a single malt for 16 euros. And the supermarket has a larger selection than the SAQ or the LCBO. And to make the deal even sweeter, tobacco prices are regulated by the state. So anywhere you find a Tabac sign, you can pick up a Cuban robusto for 5 euros. That`s about the price I pay for a very cheap Honduran cigar. While on the topic of food, the other thing I noticed is that the MacDonald`s M here is on a green background instead of the normal red we`re used to. I have no why…
And another thing I noticed…there are a whole lot more attractive women on the streets of Paris, Marseilles and Aix and it`s not just because its summer. The women (and men) here are thinner and, I guess by inference, more attractive. I`ve met few obese or overweight natives here…many of those oversized people I`ve bumped into tend to be North Americans. If a good wine can be had for the price of a “coca”, fresh baguettes are served with every meal, and pastries with chocolate are de rigueur for most meals, where does the “wheat belly” theory fit in? I know it`s just anecdotal, but I swear I`ve met so many gorgeous women (not of good judge of gorgeous men but willing to concede that to be the case) that it just seems like there`s a clue to the obesity epidemic here that we`re overlooking. Maybe I need to create the WBC diet (Wine, baguette,chocolate).