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FR : The French home part 2

Sep 13, 2010 by     No Comments    Posted under: Daily life, France
Medium Coffee Cups

These were gifts from Grandma Marie-Luis

Powering up : The Electrical Outlets/Plugs, and Coffee Cups

Naturally for a frequent computer user,… which most of us are these days,  the first 2 thing that comes to the priority list once you arrived to some new place includes in the top are the power plug and…. coffee!

Ah, the French…. I had just one plug converter to make use of my laptop power cord. Right away I didn’t have enough. To buy one adaptor for each US power plug soon proved to be impractical. My next noted solution is to pick up an extension cord/multiple outlet power supply the next time I’m in the US. ‘Cause I’ll tell you, little electrical things cost so much money here. Those and stationary like notebooks and blank CDs. Apparently the French are huge into cutting down the use of papers and they are anti copying stuff.

The physical look of their plugs and outlets are quite impressive to me. They seem durable, heavy duty, industrial like. I can get with that. According to this wikipedia, it is a “type E”, out of over a dozen types around the world. The wiki page is a fun glance at the variety of them, many are obsolete. Just makes me wonder why it wasn’t standardized at the first place when they invented electricity. Perhaps I should read the history article.

Now. More importantly than getting the electrical power up in your devices, it’s the caffeine power…. I hope you won’t be as disappointed as I was to find their TINY COFFEE CUPS to be less than adequate in this matter. I honestly can do away with the supersize nature of American food consumption overall except for this one. Reflecting upon my own past experiences, I can not recall at what point large cups of coffee became my daily requirement. I remember that at some point, I’d be fine having gone a day or two without food as long as there’s a pot of coffee hanging around. Not the healthiest, I know, but it was fine.

Naturally it became my obsession to sort of snuff at their coffee cups everywhere I go. They do snuff right back at me for always having my coffee with milk, saying that it’s not coffee anymore. “Do you know what they call coffee with milk in the U.S.?” I ask. Often the French target says no. “Café au lait”, haha… imagine that. Why is it called in French if it’s so uncommon to them? Silly. Among other things that you’d be surprised for the French to not know associated to them is the “French press”, and “French Roast” (not my favorite anyway). I look forward to bring this up again and again to the next French person who looks at me funny when I ask for milk with my coffee.


FR : The French home part 1

Sep 10, 2010 by     No Comments    Posted under: Daily life, France
Snap shot of a house

Random house

Their toilets, Shower, and Windows

When I got here the first time, I came into an apartment that was needing some work. My boyfriend’s place is on the 6th floor of this building in Montagne Verte area south west of Strasbourg. His wall is still raw of partially torn out old wall papers. The kitchen was partially function. That was nothing new to my knowledge of a habitable structure. But the differences, however common it maybe for others, I still took my personal time to enjoy, or trip out on littlest of things. Below are some of my first impressions. More soon.

The toilets – they are located in a separate room than the bathrooms. So you’d ask for toilet if you wish to use the toilet, not where the bathroom is.

The bath/shower – they come with shower heads that do not hang over your head. They just sort of rest on this weird housing on top of the hot/cold water knobs down below. I had to ask them to explain to me how do they shower. Apparently they are satisfied with a one hand holding up the shower head system. This I can not get used to.

The windows – Seriously I really honestly thought for a freakish few seconds that they were BROKEN. The top two corners of the windows seem to loose a hinge. I freaked out the first time I operated one, to simply open a window. The top of it angle toward me and I thought it was going to fall on me. Whew. Luckily it’s just one of many little things that the French has here that makes me wonder why it doesn’t exist somewhere else I’d ever been? The windows, and similar type doors, have 3 positions for the handle. When you point to 12 o’clock, you get the top window to ajar. When you point to 3 o’clock, you get to open the window like how we all know to open a window. And when you point the handle down to 6 o’clock, that’s when you get it into lock.  Another thing about these windows, which apparently I can go on and on about, they are DOUBLE glass. This helps the insulation during the harsh weather season. Also common, is the roll down metal shutter outside the window to provide complete darkness and/or security when you want to. The windows themselves are obviously newly designed. What I love the most about seeing them is how they are commonly fitted in with the existing windows of very old structures.


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