A Franco-American breakfast

On Tuesday, I ate breakfast at my hotel — 23 Euros’ worth of breakfast. That’s what they charged me, anyway; I don’t think it was worth 23 Euros. And I didn’t want to have breakfast at the hotel again today if I could avoid it.

Last night, I saw a greengrocer as I was walking from the restaurant to the RER station, so I went in and grabbed an orange to take back to my room (0.77 Euros). That was the first part of today’s complete breakfast.

After eating the orange, I took off to explore the area around my hotel. When I walk to IBM, I cross a street and turn right; this morning, I turned left. I wasn’t in real Paris: But I was still hungry. So I retraced my steps and found a bakery; they sold me a pain du chocolate for 0.60 Euros. But they couldn’t sell me any coffee. So I continued onward to the plaza at the Grande Arche de la Defense, where Starbucks has established its second French beachhead (so new that it’s not even on their website).

This Starbucks wasn’t nearly as crowded as the one I often visit on my way to work — there was no line, in fact. But I recognized many of the customers who were there — they were my fellow attendees at this meeting!

I had a bit of trouble ordering, because the signs were in French instead of Starbuckese (imagine my culture shock at having to ask for a middle-sized cappucino as a “moyenne” instead of a “grande”). But I figured it out, and my wallet was soon emptier by 3.50 Euros (this Starbucks couldn’t take the Starbucks Card, either!), making my visit to Starbucks by far the most expensive part of today’s breakfast.