Black Friday?

Today on my way to the metro station I saw a crowd of people outside a “House of Hoops” store. They sell sports shoes. It was between 8 and 8:30 am, and there weren’t crowds outside any of the other shops around.

So, I guessing here, but was this a French “Black Friday” knock-on effect? The store is basically a Foot Locker store. Do they have Black Friday sales in all their stores, regardless of country? It seems weird to me, since Black Friday is tied to Thanksgiving in my mind, and obviously that’s not a big thing here in France (though I did get more “Joyeux Thanksgiving”s than I expected yesterday). But there was a big crowd…

I wish I had been able to get a picture, but I was a bit self-conscious about taking one at the time…

Astro 1040?

2010 1040 Instructions at IAPI was a bit surprised to walk into the Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris one days and find, along with a bunch of brochures and other stuff you might expect to find at the entrance to a French astronomy department, the instruction for the 2009 US 1040 tax form.

That’s a scale-model of the Planck satellite in the background.

Cream of Wheat

Cream-of-WheatOne thing I really missed when I was first here was Cream of Wheat. I had been looking for it for a long time, and just couldn’t find it.

It turns out it was right in front of me, in the mini supermarket in my own building. The problem, first of all, is that they don’t call it Cream of Wheat — it’s Semoule. And secondly, the packaging is totally different. The pair left me without my favorite breakfast for years.

Ticket-Resto

Ticket-RestoThis is a “ticket-resto”, which I guess would be translated at a “restaurant voucher”. Some people get these from their work, if their employer doesn’t have a cafeteria. Since my university does, I don’t usually get these.

However, at one point in 2007, our cafeteria was under repair, or construction, or something like that, so we were offered these. I think I got five of ’em. I never used ’em, but it was nice to see one after all I had heard about them.