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Archive for January, 2011

Coffee in your pocket?

Pocket Coffee is an individually wrapped, bite-sized piece of chocolate.

Why is it so wonderful?

Chocolate and coffee that fits in you pocket!

It’s a deliciously sweet mix of coffee and milk chocolate. The liquid espresso is in a crystallized sugar pocket and then covered in yummy milk chocolate.

The best way to avoid a mess is to nip off one corner and then let some of the espresso pour out into your mouth.

According to the packaging it’s 54% arabica coffee. For a 12.4 g piece of candy, that’s approximately 6.2 mL of espresso per chocolate. A sip of coffee.

Just be careful not to leave the chocolate in you pocket too long, you could end up with a pocket-sized coffee stain.

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January/February is the season when Europeans go crazy for semi-annual sales! People spending hard-earned money on unneeded goods – mostly clothes in my experience – because they’re cheap.

I have avoided most of the crowds and haven’t set foot in a single shop advertising sales. In fact, apart from groceries there have been relatively few purchases in the Parsons-Beason household. I am guilty of influencing the purchase of a Blaise Cendrars collection – a wonderful little (1124 pages) book with his poems, novels and memoirs.

However, I indulged (though technically avoiding the sales).

Saturday afternoon after not doing much, I strapped on my backpack and made my way to Emmaüs. For the uninitiated, Emmaüs is a wonderful organization founded in France in the 1949 by a priest named Abbé Pierre. Their goal is to help out those less fortunate. In most cities in France there are large collection/commercial sites where people donate goods and they are then refurbished and resold by the Emmaüs group.

I went to the Emmaüs located in Charenton, a small suburb to the south of Paris. It takes about 45 mintues door to door. Once there, my normal path through the 3-story building – and now exterior bookshop is like this:

First floor/Ground floor
1. Housewares – dishes, cutlery, appliances, cookery
2. Furniture – sofas, shelving, tables, chairs
3. Electronics/Appliances – computers, microwaves, stereos, CDs, cameras

Second floor
1. Toys, records, art

Third floor
1. Clothes – seasonal
2. Linens – kitchen, bedroom, fabric

Bookshop
This is a book paradise! 1 Euro per book for hardcovers and 2 for 1 Euro for paperbacks.
My reason for going was just to take a look around and maybe a lamp or book would catch my eye for a few euros. Oh how wrong I was.

Within 3 minutes I found a huge collection of classical CDs. In an attempt to become more culturally literate, I have begun listening to classical music – I am currently into Rameau, Saint-Saens, etc. I found two CDs that seemed interesting – Berlioz’s Harold in Italy and Dvořák’s Symphony #9 In E Minor. My eyes moved from the CDs to an old leather camera case with cyrillic print on the top shelf. I pulled it down. It was in nearly perfect condition. There wasn’t even a coat of dust around the viewfinder. I opened the back of the camera and a roll of film was still inside.

It had to be mine! Just behind where the camera had been sitting was another case with the same cyrillic letters. I asked the Russian (yes, I know I’m in France!) working in the area how much the cameras are…10 euros. Then he showed me a third camera. I couldn’t pass them up.

In the end I left with an orange enameled iron pot, a 1960s turquoise travel typewriter, 1 book, 2 CDs and 3 Zenit cameras for 33 euros. It was the most fulfilling shopping experience I may have ever had.

This coming Friday, a friend and I will go on a Paris adventure to test the quality and performance of the 3 cameras. Hopefully the results will be FORMIDABLE (I will post the photos that turn out for all to see).

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