As usual, we are staying in an apartment during our trip to Paris. It’s the apartment of the vivacious Josette, where Richard and I stayed several years ago. It’s a great location, right next to the Luxembourg Gardens, in a neat residential neighborhood.
One of the true advantages of the apartment rental experience in a place like Paris is the chance to get away from the commercial areas and get out with the Parisians. Because we’re in an apartment, we need items like orange juice, coffee, milk, wine, and beer. (Of course, you would never dream of buying bread in a grocery store; you’ve got to go to the bakery for that.)
There are a huge array of other items to try along the tight aisleways, and you can always find bins of fresh fruits and vegetables under the striped green outer awnings. There are some language challenges — my de minimus French skills can’t distinguish ground coffee from whole bean, for example — but you typically can make do with some careful looking (and, in the case of packaged coffee, giving it a squeeze to see whether it feels ground.) The proprietors of these neighborhood groceries are unfailingly pleasant and helpful, too.
Shopping at a local grocer in a foreign land is one of the things that makes travel fun.