For close-in things the Metro problems didn't matter.

  One of the first things Nelly introduced me to was the local supermarket, the Monoprix. She's a tea drinker, I'm a coffee fanatic and there wasn't any in the house so I had to make a trip.

  Now if you're in the US and someone offers you instant coffee you almost start to wretch. But France is a different case. Feel free to buy a tiny jar of instant coffee by Nestle or anybody else. It's darn good, will wake you up and grow hair on your chest in no time flat.
 
Nelly leaving home

  My other adventure in Monoprix was buying vegetables. If you don't know the scoop, you'll feel like a fool, a bit lost and feel like a vegetable yourself before you catch on to the system.

  I'd put everything into plastic bags and went to the check out stand when the cashier sent me back with a point of her finger and few choice words I was glad I didn't understand. So back to the produce section I went.

 
  After watching different women picking out and bagging things I noticed they all went to something that looked like a scale. A simple, flat, stainless surface with a panel of buttons above it. Each button had a picture of a vegetable or fruit on it. You just punch the right button, put your goods on the scale, it spits out a bar code sticker and you used that to tie your bag with. Now I was an ignorant American with properly bagged vegetables.
   
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