Sunday, September 20, 2009

Small change

Eating well is one of my greatest pleasures. Ironically, it also became much more of an effort once I started culinary school. Some days have been so busy, it is almost a bother. I ended up reconciling this by purchasing much more ready-made cuisine whilst in Paris. It’s not my top preference, but I was often short on time and was trying to manage my expenses by not eating in restaurants too often. But the irony of the situation was undeniable: Whilst I would be spending up to 3 hours making beautiful cakes during class, for meal times I did not really have the time or kitchen space at Isabelle’s flat to do more than microwaving or quick cooking on the stove top.

The marvelous thing about France is the enormous choice of products available in the supermarket. You can pretty much find any type of dish in a heat & eat format. Many of these are endorsed by chefs such as Paul Bocuse or with recipes adapted from well-regarded restaurants. Every ethnic dish can be found and of course all the old standbys of French cuisine are all available. And some of it gets quite inventive…snacks such as tangy Roquefort cheese wrapped in crispy crepes; or ready to eat individual polenta portions, done in an array of flavors and colors (yeah, try finding that either of those in a Geneva Migros!)

That first week of classes, I was food shopping in the Monoprix on rue Lecourbe, admiring the range of choice not to mention the alluring packaging. Of course, I ended up buying more than I expected, including different ready to eat exotic vegetable purees, multigrain crisp breads, fresh egg pastas and my beloved ravioles dauphinoises, steamed asian dumplings, wonderful looking soups and some delightful pots de crème for dessert. For just over 25 euros, I had a range of stuff to keep my tastebuds entertained for the rest of the week I was there. So much of the supermarket experience caters for the time poor, single person who lives in Paris with virtually no kitchen (and quite often no oven at all – shock and horror!). Packages are small but no effort is spared on providing an excellent array of variety and tempting choices.

As I stood there in the check-out queue, I happened to notice the man in front of me. He wasn’t especially distinctive in appearance, but compared to me and many others in the queue, his purchase was so small, not even requiring use of a shopping basket - a small can of bean cassoulet and a box of chocolate biscuits. I recall that he looked a bit agitated, as if he was really eager to get out of the queue and be on his way. But it was 9.30pm so even that wouldn’t be considered unusual I suppose – everyone in that queue (including me) was feeling that way. But for whatever reason, I noticed him. He reached the front of the queue and his purchases were rung up. The total was something small, like 2.55 euros. It was then that I noticed him carefully counting out the exact amount in euro pennies and pieces jaunes, a rather pained look on his face when he handed the clerk the last 5 cents in his palm. The clerk heaved a large sigh, counting all his coppery change as if it were a large chore. Then man quietly bagged his purchases, said thank you and left.

I completed my purchase and stepped out of the store, and spotted the same man again. Sitting quietly on the pavement with his knapsack, a plastic cup and the purchase he’d just made, it was now clear to me that he was homeless. Having watched what he purchased and all the small coins he’d used to buy those two humble items, I suddenly felt overwhelming sadness. I usually pass by these people without giving anything, often wondering what difference 5 cents could ever make …or just assuming that my donation will be used to pay for drugs or alcohol. But having seen what I’d just seen at the checkout, I’m guessing it probably took him most of the day to collect the small amount he’d just spent on beans and cookies. Meanwhile, I’d had the luxury of choice and abundance and was on my way to a comfortable place in which to enjoy it. I walked over to him, smiled and gave him all my change. “Merci beaucoup, madame” was all he said, his eyes meeting mine sincerely for only a moment then glancing down to his hands which were holding the cup of coins. There is definitely more I could do on this front, the first step being for me to gain a lot more sensitivity to the issue, but I felt I’d gained a valuable insight.

35 comments:

tiktok said...

累死了…來去看看文章轉換心情~ ........................................

建霖 said...

苗栗聊天彰化聊天室二聊天勢苗栗聊天室ut中部人聊天猛插陰道現上成人影片現上免費現上免費a片現上免費影片現上情色片現上影片甜心寶貝片區甜心寶貝區情愛貼片情愛卡通情愛小說情色成人站情色的影片情色按摩免費線上看情色圖貼區情色圖網站情色熊貓貼圖情色網路遊戲情色聞學情色影片片情色影片放映區情典獄長情侶做愛片情侶影片線上看武俠小說 亂倫小說 69成人6k聊天室

雅琳雅琳 said...

GOOD........................................

雅琳 said...

Cool blog網愛聊天室色情網站交友找啦咧免費影片成人笑話成人圖庫sexy女同志聊天室愛戀情人用品情趣爽翻天咆哮小老鼠入口85cc6k脫衣人妻sexy85c脫光光taiwansex淫女情色成人男女做愛美女做愛脫衣秀a片正妹淫蕩色情後宮040185c85c77p2p77p2p性幻想手淫18禁

JesseniaT_Orndorff1021 said...

原來這世上能跟你共同領略一個笑話的人竟如此難得........................................

NicolaSigel0508 said...

大奶妹貼圖區0204性影片觀賞露點自拍淫婦女生如何自慰色情站成人笑話av激情網愛視訊美女淫蕩av成人色情電話辣妹視訊聊天性關係情色vcd自慰圖淫美成人論壇台灣色情論壇成人聊天室自拍裸女貼圖視訊成人免費a片影片av成人網成人色情色情台灣辣妹小穴太太陰毛色情訊息裸女自拍色情影片a片論壇性愛技巧美女脫胸罩情色天堂av寫真色情視訊聊天做愛視訊成人影片床上戲情色聊天網火辣情色台灣女優性愛秘笈台灣av女優手淫自慰影片

長卉LisetteC said...

謝謝您的分享~感恩唷!!..................................................

燕香criste0609opherc_hippl said...

喜樂的心是健康良藥,憂傷的靈使骨枯乾。........................................

懿綺 said...

Thanks ~ ~ I will come back yo~................................................................

湘嬌 said...

喜歡你的部落格,留言請您繼續加油.............................................

HaroldM22 said...

A friend to everybody is a friend to nobody...................................................

QuinnJ怡潔 said...

仇恨是一把雙刃劍,傷了別人,也傷了自己............................................................

mckinney said...

加油!充實內函最重要!Beauty is but skin- deep...................................................

雅馨 said...

希望我的支持可以帶給你快樂--加油.................................................................

許紀廷 said...

在莫非定律中有項笨蛋定律:「一個組織中的笨蛋,恆大於等於三分之二。」......................................................................

俊源 said...

死亡是悲哀的,但活得不快樂更悲哀。......................................................................

柏強 said...

生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。......................................................................

銘木 said...

所有的資產,在不被諒解時,都成了負債............................................................

彭怡 said...

安安!剛開始玩這個,來這裡逛一下^^............................................................

JasonBirk佳琪 said...

有用的才華若不用,便如同日晷儀放在陰暗之中............................................................

吳婷婷 said...

One swallow does not make a summer.............................................................

國昆 said...

一個人的價值,應該看他貢獻了什麼,而不是他取得了什麼............................................................

水慧 said...

you got it!i like it!!!............................................................

淑娟淑娟淑娟 said...

這麼用心的經營你的文章, 當然值得我們留連拜訪的!..................................................

夏瓊陳詩蓁富 said...

要求適合自己的愛情方式,是會得到更多,還是會錯過一個真正愛你的人。..................................................................

俊張霖 said...

快樂,是享受工作過程的結果..................................................

冠賴伶冠賴伶冠賴伶 said...

很不賴的分享!! 多謝啦!!◑0◐......................................................

凱v胡倫 said...

活是一種鍛鍊靈魂的東西..................................................................

偉曹琬 said...

海鷗要高飛,必先遠退。花蜜要香醇,必先久釀。............................................................

偉曹琬 said...

愛,拆開來是心和受兩個字。用心去接受對方的一切,用心去愛對方的所有。......................................................................

孫邦柔 said...

好熱鬧喔 大家踴躍的留言 讓部落格更有活力..................................................

翊翊翊翊張瑜翊翊翊 said...

這個部落格好好好~棒棒棒~~~............................................................

立和辛和胡辛和辛偉 said...

雖天地之大,萬物之多,而惟吾蜩翼之知。..................................................

洪勳劉耀德劉耀德華 said...

原來這世上能跟你共同領略一個笑話的人竟如此難得......................................................................

饶湘国 said...

從人生中拿走友誼,猶如從生活中移走陽光......................................................................