Saturday, June 28, 2014

Aah, the differences

Coming to France seems so much like arriving at home that I often seem to look past those little differences. Here are a few that have popped up so far on this trip.

Medicine - the land of effervescents and other "odd" methods of taking meds. This is a vial of liquid sunshine (aka Vitamin D). Simply pop the top - thanks for the scouring - and take it down. This one is best taken with a bit of yogurt so that the calcium will help bind. I guess you just toss the glass...

Sticking with odd forms - try paying for a passport upgrade. I'm not sure if this is the case for all official documents but when renewing my passport the question was not check, cash or credit. The question was, "Do you have the official stamps?" The local tabac (a local drug store or mom 'n pop store are the closest equivalents) may or may not carry them. It took a couple of tries in different stores to find one that could provide these important stickies.

While we're on the form of payment, watch out when traveling with your American credit  card. Be it Visa or Master Card, us Americans are getting behind the times according to the French. The back-of-the-card strip to swipe is now only found on old machines and we've already run into a few instances where we could not pay. A hospital trip found us asking to pay with cash and other outings found us looking all over for an ATM before entering in to buy. What do you need in France? Cards here now come with a microchip on the front of the card. This part of the card is inserted into a machine. Only the older machines seem to have both a slider and a microchip reader. It's getting a bit frustrating to say the least...

Is your VISA up to date with a microchip?

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