(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

this ticks me off

and I don't care who knows it.

a number of "shopping services" are sprouting up in the region ... not the individual shopping sites like Amazon and eBay...

no, these are businesses ... mostly British from what I can garner, that are specializing in delivering groceries and the like from UK sources to customers in France.

yeah, free market and all of that. but it really pisses me off for some reason. I mean here they are, these ahem "expats" ... living here, benefiting from the positives that France has to offer (country lifestyle, inexpensive property rates, great health care) and pretty much shopping exclusively from outside the country.

Daily groceries. electronics. furniture. paint. do-it-yourself products. clothing. etcetera. this doesn't begin to address the exclusive mentality of using 'services' (building, maintenance, pubs, etc) owned by fellow expats vs. the locals.

I mean really? ASDA? Tesco? Sainsbury? Marks & Spencer? seriously?

it is no wonder so many French here in my area, anyway, have such a negative impression of the expat community.

don't even get me started on speaking French.



Notre Vie Juteuse said...

I agree with you. Why move to France if you can't LIVE without your english stuff. We met many english who lived in france for more than 5 years and they spoke very little french. They socialize with the english and stay in their little bubble world. It's no wonder they aren't well liked, they come in take over and don't embrace the french way of life.

Ed Ward said...

Well, yes, but. As an expat of 17 years' standing, there are those little things you just can't get. Now, I'd never even consider doing *all* my shopping overseas, but I've found that nowhere in Europe do they grind cornmeal in a fashion that makes good cornbread, and when berry season comes along, I love Grape Nuts with fresh French strawberries. And, about three times a year, I make enchiladas with tortillas imported from Texas and New Mexico chile powder. And French cheese. Nor would I mind having a source for some of the dishes I learned to love in Germany -- and for some decent German beer, an art the French have yet to learn.

Variety is good, and turning your locals on to your own cuisine is great fun. But you're right about the Brit Bubble.

Kathleen said...

there's a vanity at work here that makes me crazy too.. i used to see it when i moved to venice... people trying to make their environment and lives non-venetian... so then, why move there??? Grrrr!

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...

Ed, of course ... I relate to the now and then missing items ... I devoted 10 precious pounds of my limited suitcase space to Maseca for tortillas and certain peppers and such last year when I visited the states.

But these are folks who get weekly grocery deliveries and buy their bricolage materials to have them surreptitiously delivered or who spirit vanloads across the border because they just don't have good (insert product) here in France. to quote them: bollocks. these are the same folks I have ranted (a bit) about before who go to the local non-French pub and bitch about the French till closing time.

but using these services (I know of at least 2 now) goes beyond the pale. wish I could pop that bubble.

Kathleen-yes, it is very strange. go to another land, recreate your former land and yet brag about how you live in a foreign land. *insert eyeroll*

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...

notre vie-yes the area you guys stayed in was overrun with the same crowd, no? don't get it at all.

Randal Graves said...

Always good to buy local as much as you can, no matter where you are, even if we all have our favorites from "home."