Tuesday, April 5, 2016

A Failure to Deploy the Checklist

Greetings Gentle Reader.  It has been a day.  We were up and packed early for our planned return to Paris.  Before leaving we had to check out of the hotel.  We had a 77 euro tab for dinners which the lady at the desk wanted to collect.  When reminded that we had a 100 euro "deposit" on file, she realized we were due a refund.  For reasons known only to itself, our credit card company declined the refund.  So, she had to go find cash to give us.  By the time all of this was done, we were thoroughly distracted.  We walked out to the car and left the suitcase sitting in the lobby.  We'd already made one trip to the car, we were focused on leaving and we left it sitting there, off to one side.  Two and a half hours later, we realized what had happened.  Back we went to Caen to retrieve our luggage, which is where we are now.  We'll try it again tomorrow. 

Do not despair, I do have photos of interesting stuff.  France has taken care of the problem of people leaving grocery carts hither and yon.  In order to get a cart, one must insert a one euro piece into the cart handle.  Note the location of Jim's thumb.  Then one may unlock the cart and take it away.  When you return the cart, you get your euro back.

We've been going to Carrefour for stuff while in Caen.  It occupies a city block.  It's amazing retail establishment.  There are plants.

There is stuff.  You can buy a kit that allows you to inflate 30 balloons with helium.

The fish display is huge.

These are whelks.  They're sea snails.  I asked the meat guy if they were dead, and he replied with a miffed tone of voice that no they were not, they're for cooking.  He poked one and it did retreat back into its shell.  This just doesn't look good to me.  However, we should not diss another nation's food culture.  I discovered cooking instructions on the internet.
  • Whelk meat is often sold cooked, but if raw, soak for several hours in salty water, before steaming for 5 minutes. Serve with lemon juice, salt and pepper or with the traditional malt vinegar and a winkle picker.

OK, but then there are the bunnies.  (Don't eat these, they have the highest level of antibiotics of any farmed raised animal in the EU.  I would reference the article about their treatment, but it's too depressing.)

How about a nice vegetable?  What is this?  It was in with the cabbages, but I don't recognize this.

The checkers remain seated.  They fling your stuff down a short ramp and you better be there ready to bag it.

After today's trip to the grocery store, we went for a long walk.  This is the Caen Castle.  Contruction was begun in 1060 by William the Conqueror.  We didn't go in, just took a few pictures and kept walking.

This is an ancient church across the street from William's house.  We took a couple of pictures and kept walking.  Notice the gargoyles projecting from the building - about a third of the way up from the bottom of the photo.

So that was today.  Much driving, no closure.  Tomorrow we'll implement a check list.

In other news, the car in yesterday's post was identified as a Renault Alpine by Jim's son.  That is pretty good esoteric car knowledge.


  1. Bummer about the suitcase! ALDI food store in the US (maybe only in the east?) charges a quarter for a cart by the same method you experienced. It does work, but it's not a happy time when you arrive at the store and realize that you don't have a quarter. :-)