So today I decided to brave Forum Les Halles, one of the few real malls - by which I mean indoor and enclosed - in Paris, along with the one at Place d'Italie. I love the Place d'Italie mall because it is so clean and shiny, no smoking, has "relaxation" lounges with free water, and the Petit Bateau is my favorite because the people are so nice and it has a special new design. Les Halles is like Place d'Italie's ugly stepbrother. It's dirty, the froggies can't help smoking even though it's prohibited, very confusing to navigate (there are 3 different levels with different named wings), and at night it gets kinda dodgy: full of drunks, SDFs, and who knows what else. I had to return something so I decided to check in on a few stores. I was shocked to see discounts of 60% off at La Rédoute. Even FNAC had tons of CDs at 8.99€. Maybe not the greatest CDs, but some classics mixed in; I picked up a Bob Marley CD. I also had no idea that perfume went on sale. That never happens in America! At Sephora they had a few tables of discounted perfumes, but not just the Jessica Simpson line (barf), also normal stuff like Calvin Klein, Burberry and Hugo Boss. And Nocibé, another perfume/makeup store had 10 - 20% off of almost all the perfumes in the store. And at Sephora I saw someone get caught stealing! A big white guy! I don't know why he was stealing perfume...by the way I think it was J-P Gaultier for men, not sure (as if that explains it :/). He tried to run away but I guess they have undercover shoppers because one of the guys that stopped him was not in uniform. It got kinda physical too! First time I've witnessed a shoplifting. Exciting stuff.
ps I forgot to mention reason #xxx of most irritating things about living in France. I'm in FNAC, on the 2nd floor, going to pay at the cashier. There is nobody in line, the cashier is waiting, doing nothing. Instead of going through the waiting space (you know, with the ropes and everything), I just walk straight up to the cashier. She looks straight at me, points to another lady that is making her way through the rope maze, and tells me that she got here first and that I have to go back and go through the rope part. Bitch. Big deal if I didn't walk through the rope maze, there was no reason to do so because there was no one waiting! This lady was yards behind me! It's not like I saw her coming and dodged around to get to the cashier first! Typical of the (aggravating) French attitude. And even though I think my French is pretty good, I'm not comfortable being confrontational especially with bitchy French salespeople. I just have to remember to avoid the cashier to the far right in the "Carnets" section of FNAC aux halles. whew.
Also, remember how I mentioned L'ENA a few posts back when talking about Ségolène Royal? Here's a great article that was in Monday's Wall Street Journal that tells more about L'ENA and its interesting relationship with French politicians and society.