Friday, February 17, 2006

The mystery of French pricing

In America, there is a big assumption when shopping: the more you buy, the less you pay (per unit). This is the reason why people become members at Costco and Sam's Club; this is why I go ahead and buy the massive economy size portion instead of the understated individual unit. When you come to France, my friends, you must forget this key principle. Here are some classic examples of unit prices that remain the same or even increase with the larger sizes:

1L milk at local Monoprix: 1€01
2L milk at local Monoprix: 2€02

1 month supply of dog medicine at pharmacy: 9€95
3 months supply of dog medicine at pharmacy: 36€50

I am really baffled by the medication prices. Why should it cost more per unit? As you can imagine, I now buy the medicine each month. Obviously, this doesn't always hold true, and a 16-count of yogurt is almost always cheaper per unit than the 4-count, but I just can't wrap my American mind around this one.

Also, today I really really embarrassed myself in a shoe shop. I passed by either a Courir or a Foot Locker, and I noticed the display of Air Maxes in the window. I decided to inquire about the Air Max 95s, the most beautiful Nike ever, so I approached a guy working there.

Me: Hi, I was wondering if you guys had the Nike Air Max 95's yet.
Salesguy: Pardon?
Me: [get ready for a big no-no!] You know, Nike (pronounced the American way, Ni-key, and then I try to remember how the French say it) Nikay? Neekay? Neek? [yep, there it is - I just said it - nique, as in NTM the rap group, as in I'm a pottymouth]
Salesguy: (laughing) Nike? (pronounced the french way, rhymes with "bike") You'll have to go to the Nike store on the Champs-Elysées to find them, we only have the 90's.

The guy was nice about it, he wasn't rude or anything, but I was just like "Crap. I've been here for 17 months and still make an amateur mistake like that?!"

So don't forget: in French Nike rhymes with bike!



Gem said...

I think Neekay is just as bad (niquer). Once we saw a street named "Rue Niquet," and my boyfriends family spent about 5 minutes laughing at it and taking pictures of it. I guess it would be funny to see a road named Phukk Street...

Samantha said...

That is so true, I've often wondered why the bigger size is the same price or even more expensive.

And Nike/nique - oh la honte! Don't you hate when you make mistakes like that???

Anonymous said...

in ireland too, nike rhymes with bike