The Mairie of Tours--pedestrian only shopping is to the left.
One can go shopping in France without going to Chanel and Luis Vuitton.
Here are some suggestions for shopping that will fit both the budget and the need:
- C and A: this is my favorite place to shop for clothing in France. Everything is well-made and fashionable. At home I have a dress that I bought thirteen years ago there, and it looks like new when I wear it. They have women's, men's and children's fashion.
- Sizing is Different: the sizing is European, but the fit seems a little better than back in the USA. This is for both women and children.
- There is only one register, and it's near the door: this is like Kohl's. They have a sack, fill it up, and bring it to the register.
- How to Pay: they take cash, 'chip and pin' credit cards--I have a pre-paid one from Travelex (the new one is good for five years and can change the balance to one of five different currencies, for example, from Euros to Yen to Dollars to Pounds to Canadian Dollars), or a Visa or Mastercard from back home. American Express and Discover won't work here.
- An affordable Cosmetic Line: Yves Rocher is a store that has lotions, body gels, make up, and nail polish, together. There are bio (organic) items available. There also is skin care.
- Les Toilettes: Bring change. Even department stores don't have public bathrooms! We went to one in the basement by a parking structure. It costs money to go to the bathroom in France! It was 30 centimes--there is a full-time attendant and they floor is always being mopped. At the Louvre Mall in Paris, it costs two euro to go!
- Le Difference et Les Toilettes: LOL LOL LOL! There is ONE entrance and people wash their hands there. Men and women. At some 'washrooms' they both go in to whatever stall is open. In a public bathroom, my boy was shocked to have two urinals, one 'stand over a hole' porcelain 'loo', and NO sinks for washing hands. Good thing I brought extra 'mouchoirs'! (Kleenex).
- Eating: we stopped at a stand called Le Grillote. A typical lunch is a baguette with ham and cheese, lettuce, and tomato on it. A 'panini' is a very flat baguette with meat and melted cheese but no lettuce or tomato. Pizza is not 'pizza' as you would know it. Look at it first before you buy. Our 'deal' was a half-baguette sandwich, water bottle, and one dessert--a cookie, a croissant, or a chocolate croissant pastry for under four euros. You will find Mc Donald's, Pizza Hut, Subway that are very much like home. There are also charming cafe's like this:
I don't think a 'no smoking' section exists, because practically everyone there in the wind breathes whatever is being smoked. It is not unpleasant. Know to ask for the check at the end; it will not be brought to you until you ask. There is a Value Added Tax that is like a tip, so don't tip like you would at home. If service was really great, five to ten percent is generous. Some places have better food than others. Always be sure to try to speak a little French. It will be appreciated very much and you will be treated better too.
FNAC is a store that is very much like Borders used to be--DVD, music on CD, and books. A very nice line of children's books is 'Petites Histoires du Pere Castor'. The pictures and stories make for a pleasant bedtime for everyone in the family here in France. Here is a book that made me laugh:
'Sex for Dummies'
Claire's accessories is here just like back home. You will be surprised what is popular here--Hello Kitty. So are Disney characters. Some of the clothing has English on it that has clearly not been double-checked by actual English-speaking people. Most of it is funny. One, though, was very offensive: 'Die You Hipsters!' If you are French, don't just buy something because you think it is cool. Use Google translate on your smart phone first.
Something I liked at Maison du Monde
Some very nice stores are ''Maison du Monde" that makes Pottery Barn and Pier One seem like, well, child's play. I would have bought more but for the suitcase and risk of breakage. I also liked this one: Terres Natives. I bought a Labradorite bracelet with the little round beads on elastic. I am crazy for Labradorite these days, and left my crystal at home. It feels nice. I also found an azure blue chalcedony bracelet to go with it. They have incense from Japan, masks from Africa, 'global' clothing, table wear, candles, jewelry, and other amazing things.
For the very best deals, go to Kiabi. They had a discount rack buy one get THREE FREE! I bought two blouses which were so-so-well made, but beautiful color and fit. There also was lingerie, and I bought everything demure and sweet with nice design and a little bow. Think of Victoria's secret with more class and Target prices. (I have lost so much weight on RAW vegan that when I wear a dress the underwear is sagging and I have to pull it up--a good sign, if you think about it! LOL. This might be TMI. Sorry : / )
Be prepared to walk a lot and carry everything. My friends were incredible. They didn't buy much, but listened when I said I need jeans for me (they are threadbare, I don't have time to shop besides Target at home), school clothes for the little one, and I would like to taste Sunflower honey.
I found walking in my 'slippahs' (flip flops) tiring. Instead I invested in some nice shoes that have five-point massage. I found these at the discount mall after Kiabi. The brand is Nouvelle Generations 5 Zones. If you have a wide flat foot, you are going to love them. Now I have something else to wear besides slippahs, Sonuks (love em!), clogs, and tennis shoes!
Today was a day of togetherness and 'building up' the energy. I was with my friend, her daughter, then the granddaughter-- little one who is named after me, the son I named mine after, my boy, and my friend's sister who is very nice (she gave me a hand-made doily, actually, two of them, and toys for my son, and a recipe for an amazing coconut cake).
My earthly needs were met. For the first time in a long time. I was having sore feet and hiding my holes in my jeans on the way here...sometimes a new lipstick can do us a world of good...even if you are Ground Crew (a class of Light workers who are here as humans, incarnated, and on the front lines.)
I used to think the dumb ones got sent 'down' and the smart ones 'manned the ships'. In meditation, I saw that my 'other' and my family selected me to go. It was much like when I was on a game show with my dad and he let me go for the bonus round. I was sixteen. He knew I could do it. And I won five thousand dollars in one minute! If you are Ground Crew, know you have amazing skills and abilities that make you perfect fit! It might not seem like much just yet, but Ground Crew activates in 'waves'. My wave is still on and I am riding it Home! If you have not been 'called up' yet, know your time is coming and it will be fun too.
Aloha and Mahalo,