(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Ideas for much needed businesses in France … I'm sure the longer I am here, the more I will discover.
1. I was at the mall the other day (buying appliances) and spotted a kiosk that offered a variety of services … watch and shoe repair, duplication of keys, etc. Remembering I wanted to make copies of my car keys … I walked over and handed the fellow my 2 keys, requesting 1 new set. In the space of 2 or 3 minutes, I was handed my keys. “Vingt-sept euros”, he requested. TWENTY-SEVEN EUROS?! As in $13.50 PER KEY!! Key-ryst, what a ripoff.
2. Purveyor of ice. A person could make a mint off of a series of well-placed ice machines. Campsites dot the Dordogne region and yet there seems to be NO location to purchase bagged ice. When inquiring, I received bizarre looks in return. Here in my town there is a large campground, regularly occupied with at least 40 or 50 campers. What the hell do they do for ice?
3. Discount paint store. Paint and the painters who use it, seem to be exorbitant. Even at the Brico Depot, the paint runs around the same cost per litre that is charged per gallon in the states.
Better yet, a shop that offers all of the above, and more. We’ll make a mint, I assure you!
4. Shipping. Okay now this seems to be one that has become a worldwide ripoff. Used to be you could ship a box via ground at the post office and save some money. I sent a few boxes at the last minute from the states to France and it ran basically $100/box.
Last week I sent a box the reverse route, a lightweight box and it was 46.90€ or roughly $70.00.
Outrageous, in my opinion. but this is one that would be hard to improve upon because the market is locked up and the investment too great for a start-up. So instead I'll just bitch about it.
There. All of you folks out there were certain I was a big namby-pamby when it came to France, nothing to do but wax rhapsodic about her many wonders. Which of course I shall continue to do.
But I'll also continue to identify the few flies in the ointment. And break out my can of whup-ass (or DIE FLY DIE) as needed.
Oh. And for those of you who are wondering, NO, I did not get internet up yet at my house but by some miracle the hotel network across the way reappeared making it easier for me to post. Still costly at $3/hour but hey, I can use my own computer ... even if I have to stand at the window with my laptop to get the signal.
For you folks, anything.