lundi 24 septembre 2007

Suburban Bliss

This last weekend was spent heating up the old credit card. On Saturday, we bought all our electronic equipment for the kitchen (except an oven) at Darty, France's answer to Best Buy. We considered buying some of this equipment used, but then again we'd have to hire movers to deliver each and every single item, which would work out to cost a fortune (not to mention the hassle factor). Darty offers free delivery and apparently good post-sale service, oh, and their prices are no worse than anybody else's.

For those who missed the earlier post in Spanish: apartments here in Paris tend to come with stripped down kitchens: no fridge, no oven, no cabinets even. The tenant has to purchase all these things (or bring them from their former place). This means that when we eventually leave Paris, we'll have to get rid of all this stuff we just spent a fortune buying. Oh, well. I was happy to discover, however, that our apartment does come with a lovely doormat to scuff our shoes before entering the apartment. Very thoughtful of the landlord, but I would have preferred an equipped kitchen. C'est la vie, as the French say.

Anyway, after buying lots of "electromenagers" on Saturday, on Sunday we ventured out to the 'burbs in search of an oven and kitchen cabinets. Where else but Ikea? A train ride plus a bus ride took us out to a nondescript strip mall near Charles de Gaulle airport. From the attached pictures you'll be able to see that Paris isn't just grand boulevards and Haussmann style buildings. The French can do ugly, random suburbia, too.

The Ikea at Roissy is laid out exactly like the one in College Park, MD. Even the cafeteria selling the same Swedish meatballs is located in the same part of the store and looks exactly the same. They sell exactly the same stuff, too. The only thing that reminded me that I was in France and not Maryland was the presence of beer and wine in the aforementioned cafeteria. Dorothy: you're not in Maryland anymore. Furthermore a bottle of Swedish beer or a glass of wine (presumably not Swedish) costs exactly the same as a bottle of water or a coke (more on this in a later post: watch this space). Naturally, I had a Spendrup's with my Swedish meatballs.

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