No matter where you go, you have to have certain things. And sometimes it feels like a treasure hunt, trying to find *anything* to replace those items you are used to using!
What are on our list, and how has our luck been?
- multivitamins: I like the gummy vitamins I can get in the states; France has some tablets that you plop in water. I haven't tried them yet, but will have to soon! Word on the forums is that it's best to mule them in from the states...
- Tums: so far, the only replacement we've found is Maalox. In pharmacies, it's pretty darned expensive.
- toothpaste: there are plenty of the brands we're used to seeing. USA (2x4oz/$8) France (on sale, 3x75ml/4.5€) or (3x2.5oz/$4.9) => so roughly the same at $1/oz, if you catch a good sale. Otherwise, it's about twice the cost here.
- unscented deodorant: hah! We finally found one that isn't too obnoxious. They are all on the order of 4 times the price.
- unscented lotion: hah! again! Auchan has a house brand that isn't too smelly or expensive
- unscented soap: yes! Marseillais is a popular basic brand, and has an unscented version. But it seems a bit harsh, so we are using a version that has a slight scent.
- brown rice: difficult to find, and expensive. Monoprix has a bio brand at about $1.70/lb (I used to get it in bulk for 50-70 cents/lb). So far, I've only seen long-grain. I prefer short, but this at least let's us continue to avoid white :-)
- cotton balls: LOL - no, only cotton pads are to be found
- vanilla extract: well, yes and no. There is vanilla flavoring, but not the kind of extract we used to get at Trader Joe's
Still on our list to look for:
- foam earplugs
- specialized vitamins
- gel ibuprofen
Some amazing successes:
- Pastis. Yep, just try finding this in any form in the states. Here, different brands take up half an aisle in the grocery store!
- Grand Marnier is *half* the price! (can you say guzzle?)
- Licorice! Just today, Rick found a brand that really delivers!
- Air mattress - Yay! A lifesaver unless and until we find a real mattress (and have an unfurnished place to put it - that will be quite some time off!)
- This! This magical substance was in our furnished apartment - I just tried it out on our dull, water-spotted shower fixture - wham! It's all sparkly!