This blog on New Caledonia is for those of you who ever wondered what life on a tiny island in the South Pacific might be like. Tired of bracing winter winds, the stress of an inner city or simply dreaming of a life change? This is a blog about what happens when, in the words of Yogi Berra, "you come to a fork in the road, [and] take it".

04 February 2007

World's Most Expensive Baguettes

Last Wednesday, we paid €118.49 (or $153.18 depending on your currency) for two French baguettes. Now I know things are expensive here (a recent report about the perks of retiring to Nouméa put the cost of living at 40% higher than Paris), but this is asking a bit much.

When Laurent told me how much we had gone over our weekly budget (and I had looked at what he had come home with), we pulled out the receipt. How in the world could two baguettes cost over €100? Mind you, we have friends who spent €25 on a round of Camembert when they first arrived. It's an easy mistake to make.

Turns out the cashier had keyed in 70 francs (the real cost of a baguette: €0.59) twice - which makes "7070" and then multiplied 7070 by 2 - which equals 14140 francs, or €118.49. When Laurent went back to the store and presented the receipt and asked what had happened, the manager giggled. She immediately detected the error. She showed it to a colleague. They giggled. She took it to the cashier. They giggled some more. Apparently this was most hilarious. The cashier asked if Laurent hadn't noticed that the bill was a bit high. Yes, he responded, but he had a baby in arms, the groceries to pack up, and a looming mealtime for aforementioned baby.

To make a short story long, we were reimbursed for the mistake and all is well. But it reminded me that when we had arrived, we had been warned to always check our receipts and our change: strange things were known to happen. This being said, this is the first time something like this has occurred - well, as far as we know ...

3 comments:

Ruth Pharris said...

Well--I hope you will forgive me, but I giggled, too!
The baguettes of NC were my most favorite thing of all--well, maybe second. I really loved Uncle Paul's giant pamplemousse! I am on an American quest to find such good bread, but to no avail so far.
By the way, which of Franceline's pastries does Laurent like best? We loved anything with fruit.

jo said...

Certainly- that price for True French Bread seems reasonable in Minneapolis!
WHAT exactly is the problem??

Lola of Paris said...

Isn't that crazy? Thank goodness you found it!

For more giggles, please see this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/srk1941/sets/72157594532237808/

Lola of Paris