Wednesday, 15 February 2017

In which I suspect I give my non-Frenchness away once again

It's one of the classic lessons to be learned when you move to France from less stylish lands: you never ever leave the house looking scruffy, not even just to pop out to the bakery for your Sunday morning baguette. (As Sarah Turnbull's partner explains to her in Almost French, "It is not nice for the baker" to see you looking a mess.) In my previous life, I would never have gone so far as to leave the house in my pyjamas (that is not nice for my pyjamas, which are supposed to stay clean)  but I would definitely have nipped to the shops in tracksuit bottoms and a hoodie if that was the quickest thing to put on.

One way of avoiding going to the shops at all, of course, is to have your shopping delivered, which is a particularly essential service when you have a baby and no car. In fact, when you're at home with a baby all day and just getting out of the house is a huge mission, somebody coming to refill your kitchen cupboards with no effort whatsoever on your part feels almost like a special treat and you forget that you paid with it all on your credit card the day before.

We normally get our deliveries from Auchan. They usually have slots available soon after you place the order and unless it's an evening slot, they tend to arrive at the beginning rather than the end, so you aren't left waiting for ages. They have a reasonable range of products (although not nearly as much as you would find in the actual shop), including the brand of  (more) environmentally friendly nappies that we like. If you buy five baby products, the delivery is free if you enter the code POUR_MON_BEBE, and they also do free delivery for pregnant women. Auchan used to deliver in cardboard boxes which you could either recycle yourself or send back with the delivery people for them to recycle, but they've recently switched to plastic bags. These are also supposedly recyclable, but nowhere I've ever lived in France accepts plastic bags for recycling, so I suspect a lot end up in the normal rubbish. Another drawback is that if you do your shopping at popular times, they tend to run out of certain products.

We've also tried using Carrefour a few times, but despite the fact that this is my favourite supermarket when I go to the shop myself, I've never got on with them for deliveries. You usually have to wait several days for a slot, and the last time I had to contact customer services after they sent us meat that was about to go out of date, they took weeks to get back to me.

This week, Auchan were switching over to a new version of their site and I only discovered after I had spent 45 minutes filling the basket on the old site that I wasn't going to be able to pay for it or transfer it to the new site, so I took the huff and did my shopping at Super U instead. They appeared to have a good range of products, but when the shopping actually arrived, there were a lot of substitutions and omissions. Super U did well on eco-friendly packaging, with everything delivered in strong paper bags, and even the fruit coming in those biodegradable plastic ones. (They don't do eco nappies though.) Another plus was that the shopping arrived sharply at the beginning of the eight o'clock delivery slot.

This meant, however, that we were up but not actually dressed when the buzzer sounded. I wonder how much of a cultural faux pas it is to let the supermarket delivery man see you in your pyjamas?

3 comments:

  1. If being non-French means not feeling like you have to change out of your pajamas in your own house, then amen to that! (I have never understood the going out in your pajamas phenomenon, though. However, sweatpants are awesome.)

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  2. I have been answering the door these with a baby on boob/a dress shirt barely closed so my attitude is that delivery men can just deal with it.

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  3. Well my postman saw me in the buff so your delivery guy seeing you in your pjs has to be better than that!!! I will go out in my tracksuit from time to time - especially if I am just walking the dog as I figure that I am only going to get filthy anyway!

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