The fact that there are about 10 new families at the kids' school bus stop and I'm trying to do my best to be welcoming has gotten me into deep trouble. The problem is that while I'm light years ahead of where I was a year ago in terms of navigating daily life in Paris, I'm still pretty much swimming upstream. All cocky over my success in figuring out grocery delivery, I decided today to try the latest in grocery technology, le Scan Express. It's a little handheld scanner thingie that I thought was just supposed to help you total up your bill as you shop -- you know, scan the cereal, dump it in your cart, scan the milk, ditto, and then check the total to see if you are approaching the magic number that allows you to get free delivery.
Well kind of. Like all things in France, it's more complicated than that. But of course! First, you have to sign up to have access to the scanner, even if you've already signed up for delivery and this involves showing multiple pieces of identification, filling out a form, and then telling the registration guy everything you just wrote on the form. Then you have to wave your card at the kiosk to unlock the scanner from the display. This is followed by the recitation of the rules. Don't scan bottles of water, mumble mumble mumble. Okay, I didn't get that but I don't buy water anyway. Don't scan frozen foods. For fruits and vegetables, just scan the sign above the display. Wait...did he just say if I push the purple button, the whole store blows up?! No, I guess not. And then the final threat -- you don't scan it, we won't deliver it. "C'est compliqué," I whimper. "No, madame. Pas de tout." Well, alright if you say so.
Okay, so I shopped and did the scanning thing and it totaled everything up beautifully so I'm just a few centimes over the minimum. So I roll up to the delivery checkout and come to find that not only do you not have to bag your own groceries, you don't even have to unload the cart onto the belt. Just pay and walk away. Yeah, I can do this.