French Sabbatical

My family's year in France…

Day 237 (22 February 2011) – U Express Update

Big doings in the U Express facelift first reported on last Tuesday. As a quick refresher, the U Express is our neighborhood grocery store, exactly 225 Andy-sized steps from our front gate (you may recall I got a pedometer a few weeks ago). In other words, it’s really close and we go there a lot, especially since we don’t have a car. It’s kind of like having a very large pantry a block away.

So today Melinda and I stopped to watch the installation of a pane of glass to the new front entrance being built. Last week we were excited to see the pillars go in. Today it was the glass. It’s remarkable how the addition of the glass really has started to give the entrance a more classy grocery store feel.

There are hints that the upper facade may be drastically changed, too, either from the current cream to black or some kind of ornate covering. We’re excited to see how that part of it goes. One of our biggest hopes, though, is that they figure out how to mitigate the foul fish odor that often comes wafting out the side of the store that we walk along to get to and from home. Melinda uses that smelly spot as an opportunity to practice breathwork. You know, expanding your lungs with a deep inhale, retaining it to let the fresh oxygen circulate, and then exhaling. I just refer to it as Melinda “holding her breath” when we walk by. But, hey, whatever works.

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February 22, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

4 Comments »

  1. Hey Andy, Your grocery post brings up a question raised between me and my husband who bought a loaf of French bread for $1.70. It was a long baguette and made fresh at our pastry shop. I asserted if we lived in France, we could eat this wonderful bread all the time at a much lower price. He disagred, so I write to you to ask, how much is a loaf of French bread from a bakery costing you?

    Comment by linda taylor | February 22, 2011 | Reply

    • Oops Make that $2.70.

      Comment by linda taylor | February 23, 2011 | Reply

      • We pay 1.15 € for a baguette at our favorite bakery. At today’s exchange rate, that’s a little less than $1.60. Does this mean you win?

        Comment by Andy Smallman | February 23, 2011

  2. Yes, but what I really want is for him to agree to spend four to six months in a foreign country with me. I was thinking of Spain. So you can understand why I am so envious of your experience. So far, no luck convincing him and I am the tightwad, so I doubt that cheaper bread will win him over — although he likes to eat bread with every evening meal.

    Comment by linda taylor | February 23, 2011 | Reply


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