Playing for time


French supermarkets are very much like what we in the United States would think of as “American-style” supermarkets. However, customers in France are expected to bag their own groceries as the cashier scans them. There usually is a formless pile of plastic bags strewn about— the infuriatingly clingy type we’ve been discussing—and you are expected to open the plastic bags,┬ápick up your groceries as they whiz down on you, stuff them in the bags and then be ready to pay, so you won’t hold up a dozen tired and testy Parisians in line behind you, ready to get home for supper. You want to talk about pressure? Sometimes, finger-licking is the only recourse.

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