Franprix, Sometimes You Really Piss Me Off

If you have read this blog for very long, you are probably aware that there is no love lost between my stinky, dinky Franprix and moi.  Its proximity is the only thing it has going for it.  Well, that and the attractive, new(ish) woman who works a register and defies  everything Franprix stands for by smiling broadly at the customers in her line.  I am sure she will be fired any day.  She is kind to people, even when they do really stupid stuff like disappear for a forgotten item and then return (after we have all been impatiently waiting) only to search his pockets for his checkbook and then begin the long process of writing a check.  No one writes checks for groceries here.  I only write checks when there is no other option, and then only in the privacy of my kitchen, where I can pull out the sample illustration that tells me what to write in all the spaces and how to spell the numbers.  The one time I tried to write a check in the presence of the recipient, he actually took the checkbook out of my hands and did it himself.  Merry Christmas Monsieur UPS Man!  But how did I get here?  Oh yes, le Franprix.

Today I was actually congratulating myself for heading over there before noon, when every construction and office worker in the neighborhood stands in line for a prepackaged sandwich or supper provisions.  Turns out it was not enough before noon, however, as the lines were already halfway down the freezer section when I walked in.  Bienvenue a Franprix.

The timing of a Franprix venture is tricky, you see, because if you wait too late you will have endless lines, and if you go too early, all the stock is in boxes.  In the aisles.  Blocking your way as you stare at the gaping holes in the shelves where the products you want should be.  I am convinced that the employees sit in the store and smoke cigarettes until the store actually opens to the public, and then they start thinking about restocking the empty shelves.

So today when I tried to replace the sugar that my guests polluted their perfectly good black, French coffee with, there was no sugar.  Oh, there was “Sucre Glace”, which frequently tries to trick me into believing is granular sugar (and frequently succeeds, I am embarrassed to admit), but no “Sucre Poudre”, which may SOUND like powdered sugar, but is not.  You see my difficulties, here, right?  Trying to find the right sugar that sounds like the wrong sugar on a tiny shelf impeded by stacks of boxes which apparently contain “Sucre Poudre” because there sure as heck isn’t any on that shelf.

But when I can find this one it really makes me happy. Isn’t that the cutest way to package sugar? And is the brand supposed to be an English play on words? “Sugar Daddy?”

So today I wrangled my way through the ridiculously blocked aisles, got what items I could find on my list, and then joined the (very) long lines at check out.  I made sure I got in Madame Smile’s line, though.  She may not be there the next time I go. While standing in the line I was treated to the melodious refrain of some American rapper flinging the F-bomb over the store’s music  system.  They don’t censor the music lyrics in France like they do at home.  Suddenly I found myself kind of missing the sappy Christmas carols that used to irritate me so in the Texas grocery stores.

The sugar is just down there on the right. Behind the stacked boxes. Make sure you get the right kind.

Taken from my place in line. Not pictured, because she was so far up there, is Madame Smile.

Yeah, I am definitely predicting another tearful reunion with my H.E.B. when I get home.  I bet they will even have sugar.  And sugar-coated holiday tunes for my listening pleasure.

13 Comments

Filed under grocery shopping, Paris

13 responses to “Franprix, Sometimes You Really Piss Me Off

  1. Oh yeah, I hear your pain about the early morning boxes in the aisles. Bane of my shopping chores, and a constant remind that the French take customer service with a large grain of fleur de sel!!!!

  2. You’re fortunate your Franprix is that spacious. Ours (in the 6th) was literally the size of a walk in closet! Being just steps from our front door it was so handy but like you said depending on the time of day was a nightmare or halfway satisfying. There’s not a Monoprix anywhere near you? Or Carrefore?( not sure I spelled that correctly)

  3. cindy

    I may have already told you this, but I so remember my first summer back after 9 months in Saudi, spending 2 hours in a super HEB, in a state of stupor as I marveled at all the amazing things on the shelves, the most amazing being the mini M&M’s on the baking aisle. Totally feel your pain!

  4. Julie Little

    Just remember to wear your exercise wear to HEB if you go around 9-10
    It seems to be de rigueur.

  5. Laurie

    Thank you Kate! Love Abu

  6. nancy craven

    Darling Kate, when I go to HEB today I will think of you as I hear “Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” .
    Are you sure you miss that? xxoo nance

  7. You nailed the Franprix experience. Bravo.

Hollah back y'all!

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