Tips for Living in France - Part 2
1. Amazon.co.uk delivers to France cheaply and many, many items that they sell cost 1/3 of the price that they do in France. I just order the 70€ pair of sneakers that I've been lusting after for only 40€ - Bargain. I also use it during the holidays, because they stock tons of American goodies like Peanut Butter M&M's and Turkey Stuffing. This is where I like to order the majority of my drugstore makeup.
Did I mention that the shipping's cheap?
2. Paying a few extra pennies for the nicer garbage bags is always worth it. I've found this to be true no matter where I live. Cleaning up leaks is never fun.
3. Generic/Cheap/Store brands in France are in no way equivalent to American generic brands. The saying "You get what you pay for" takes on new meaning when you move to France. I spent the first 6 months of my marriage trying to prove to my husband that a brand name didn't mean anything.
There are a few exceptions to that cliché, but not very many.
4. When you go to renew your visa/titre de séjour be sure to ask several workers, and be very specific, if there is an website where you can set up a rendez-vous for your renewal.
After 2 years and at least 30 hours collectively of standing in line at the prefecture waiting to meet with someone to get the paperwork through, a sweet lady was like "Why don't you just go onto this website and make an appointment? Then you can come whenever you want and skip all the lines!" Mind you, not every worker we talked to was aware of the website, but it's legit. Last week we got in and out of there in 20 mins. I was a very happy camper.
5. Fragrancedirect.co.uk - The shipping might be long (my order took 3 weeks to get here) because of recent changes in laws about shipping nail polishes and perfumes, but this website will save you loads of cash if you're into beauty products.
6. Just say "Bonjour" and "Au Revoir" to absolutely everyone you cross in a professional/social setting, even when it feels awkward. It's just polite here, occasionally even at times when in America it would make you look/feel like a bit of a creeper. After a while you get a feel for when you're supposed to say it, but until then, watch your colleagues closely and take your cues after someone you feel leaves a good impression.
If you have any tips you like to add, please feel free to share them below. I know I need all the help I can get. :)