Things Different in France

This time was my third time I visited France. Visiting France for Christmas festive was a different experience than my other visits. It filled with family gatherings, food, champagne, and gifts! It was the first time I received so many cadeaux, mostly about skincare, which is my current addiction.

In this post, I am not going tell how we spent our Christmas and New Year’s Eve because basically it was an intimate moment with other family members. Good time for me to get to know more member of C and K clans. Right now, I want to write about my experience and things I spotted that make my forehead or eyes get more wrinkle from pondering or laughing. Here they are…

Store and Mall closed on Sundays.

It makes me frowned when I found out about it. Mon beau-pere said only food store open on Sundays, and they close at noon. It was wrong decision when I said to Matthieu that we need to get “oleh-oleh” kind of souvenir for friends and family back at home on Sunday, which the last Sunday before we flight back. Well, I make a quick visit to the mall on Saturday just to grab some KIKO Lipstick for my mom and girlfriends, but we didn’t get our hands on more Magret de canard and cheese. However, Matthieu’s grandparents already packed two big jars of Foie-gras, and we got Confit de canard from his father as well. In the end, we were not too sad. But it was a big lesson for me to make a plan for the future.

Position of Light Switch Button

We realized this when we back at home in Bali. Matthieu, who suddenly said that light switch button and electricity plug positions are in eye level in Indonesia, and different in France where the light switch button is in below eye level and electricity plug is on stoop level (mostly). I don’t know the science answer thou, but I think here in Indonesia, it is to avoid kids play with them and get electrocuted.

New Year’s Eve with Laughing Gas

We spent our NYE at home with some friends. We had dinner and played Rock Band. In the middle of playing Rock Band, two friends blew balloons filled with gas. The gas is called laughing gas or Nitrous oxide (N2O) or Protoxyde d’azote they call in French. Basically, each of us fills a balloon with this N2O and then we slowly inhale and exhale from the balloon. After few seconds, we feel the reaction either laughing hard or moving our hands and legs with a happy face. For me, it gave a different reaction. The first time I was giggling for less than a minute. I felt like my brain stops and just want to giggle. The second one, my brain stops, I couldn’t hear anything, not moving my hands or any sensor in my face. I still can see thou but cannot move my eyes. It lasts for few seconds also. Then I stop to take it anymore. Matthieu seems enjoyed it because his reaction was amusing. I got some video but the quality is low, so I will share a video I found on youtube. I don’t know anyone in this video, just want to share here so you can check how the laughing gas works. Click here.

image from here

Clean Candle Wax

There was one dinner I made a scene. During dinner, ma belle-mere turns on some small candles from glass package and put them on the table. After finishing the dinner, I help to clean the table and put back the vase flower that was on it. Accidentally, I didn’t see there was still candle on the table, and I just drop them. Because we just used it, so there is still liquid wax, and it spilled all over the floor, table, chair, and my dress! Bravo Hera!! Ufff…… so I tried not panicked and cleaned the glass. Mes belle-mere and belle-sœur came to help. Ma belle mere put a dry paper towel on top of the dirty area, and she turns on a clothes iron. She puts the iron on top of the paper towel and press gently. The paper towel absorbs the melted wax and surprisingly for me, the floor back to clean again. It also works on my dress. A good trick to learn! If you curious how it exactly works, check this video.

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Cocktail/Apéro Games

Before or after dinner, most people join to play games. From card game to dice game, like Perudo. My favorite game is Compatibility. To play this game, we need to be paired up as one team and match the most compatibility expression cards. To start, one person has to mention a number contains one word. For example, I and Matthieu as a team. Matthieu or I will say a number like a number eight, and it has a word of SLEEP. So each of us has to select five cards from the pile that express of SLEEP. If we have the same card, then we are compatible. With each correct match, score points and move along the track on the game board. In the end, the first team to reach the end of the track wins.

Compatibility Game Board

image from here

Parapharmacie is my playground

Before my departure, I got a skincare bug on early November, so when I knew I would go to France, I already make a wish list. I went to many pharmacie and parapharmacie (drug stores) in different cities. Parapharmacie is bigger than pharmacie. In here, they sell not only medicine but also skin care or personal toiletries. From all drug stores I stepped in, there are two locations become my favorites. Pharaparmacie Blagnac in Toulouse and Pharmacie Baldy Mejean in Carcassonne. Each place has different brands and offers different price. For the cheapest one, Blagnac holds the title. And for the various items, you can trust Baldy Mejean. On the next post I am going to write my Pharmacie Haul and spread the bug to you *big grind*