Final Word: Supermarket Aid

In the Aldi car park, my husband and I scramble for change, specifically a €1 coin, to unlock a shopping cart. Suddenly Jean-Marc smiled and said nonchalantly: “A fifty-cent coin would also work…”

To wait. What? Would a 50 cent piece work too? Why did I never think of this in all the years I lived in France? I’ve been around long enough to remember using the franc as a token. Come to think of it, a franc coin might come in handy because, Seems like, looks like other sized coins. So why didn’t my husband ever share this tip?

A weekly routine

First of all, we don’t shop together very often. We do the grocery shopping with my mother; literally every Monday morning. And rarely are we prepared for the basket conundrum. Just as we were never ready for the mad dash to bag our food at the end of another mad raid on the French supermarket.

For my foreign mother and I, it’s the same weekly drill: “Oh no! Did you bring a euro for the car?”
“No, what about you?” Saperlipopette! To make things even more complicated, we need two coins since we each do our own shopping (My mother lives in her own studio on the ground floor of our house). And we go on a wild goose chase called the elusive Token Hunt. (It looks like an exotic Alpine creature, but a coin is the name of the plastic token that customers are expected to produce when they arrive at the store. I can tell you that even the French put up with that head-slapping moment. Thin! I forgot coins for the shopping cart!

If you’re lucky, you may find a car with a broken chain or a shiny euro inside, forgotten by a previous customer. Arrow! But most of the time you have to go to the store and wait in line for the coin. And what the cashier gives you is not a sign of appreciation. Not when his job is to usher shoppers out the door’s upper chronos. Despite cashier He looks patient, his quick movements scream Come on! Come on! I swear he’s got a whip in his hand but every time I look up he smiles As if nothing happened.

I really hate the rush shenanigans in French supermarkets. FranklyRushing has a way of slowing me down. I become confused, extremely unproductive, lost like a key.

Actually, this reminds me of the only other shopping cart hack I know… Did you know you can use the back of the cart? key to unlock a car? But first you need to recover the key from the computer. Clothes and I’m not sure which is more annoying, or having to wait in line for an appointment. token. On the bright side, thanks to our whipping, it wouldn’t be a very long wait. cashier. Come on! Come on!

Kristin Espinasse is the author of Words in French Life, Blooming in Provence, and the blog French Word-A-Day.

French vocabulary

SUPERMARKET = supermarket
BASKET = grocery cart
ONE TOKEN = plastic token, chip

THIN!= damn!
ARROW! =yay!
TOP CHRONO = in record time
cashier = cashier
COME ON! GO! = hurry up!
COMME SI DE NOTHING ÉTAIT = as if nothing had happened
FRANCHEMENT = obviously
A KEY = key
KEYCHAIN ​​= keychain

From France Today magazine

Lead photo credit: © Kristin Espinasse

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