Thursday, October 02, 2008

Paris Prices

Every time I go to Paris, I am reminded how expensive it is. I mean, I came back to Switzerland and was thinking, “$5 for a soda? What a great deal!”

I have written about dehydration in Europe before, as for some reason the cost of beverages is astronomical. I’ve tried to figure out the reason for this since I’ve been here.

My only real philosophy is that some Europeans’ idea of going out is to sit and have little one beverage. And they sit and sit and sit. Sometimes for hours. Sometimes for half a day. No one bothers them about leaving. No one rushes them. But the rest of us are paying the price.

In Paris we went to a tiny Vietnamese restaurant in the middle of nowhere in the 17th district. We just really had a taste for Vietnamese food and it was the closest place to our hotel. When we got there, we saw the prices, but were too tired to try to find anything else.

So we order $23 (17 EUR) plates of spicy ginger chicken, and then get stuck with no choice but to order an additionally overpriced beverage.

So we settled for two glasses of very non-alcoholic orange juice for the very alcoholic price of $8.50 a glass—and wouldn’t you know it, it wasn’t even fresh squeezed.

When the chicken arrived, I almost couldn’t believe it. I had never seen such a small portion of Vietnamese food in my entire life. It didn’t even come with rice. (That, we were informed was 12 EUR, or an extra $16 per person). Now if anything can make you miss the U.S., a meager sized, riceless plate of chicken will.

At that very moment, I longed for my country of excess consumption. For a place where after spending $70 for dinner (if that was even possible) I wouldn’t be going away hungry.

When asked if we wanted dessert, we shook our heads vehemently. It wasn’t that we weren’t sill hungry. It’s just that we were in the mood for something a little more reasonable. Like a 2 Euro street crepe. Sans boisson, of course.


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