French Shops

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This evening, around 9:30 p.m., I crossed Place du Commerce and walked by La Coquille, a very centrally located bar/newsstand. Everybody in Nantes knows it because it is the only place where you can buy cigarettes late at night and on Sundays or during bank holidays. I’m not sure why they stay open when every other bar-tabac is closed. Did they bribe officials? Who cares. As usual, there was a huge lineup of smokers waiting for their fix—Lucky Strike, Marlboro, Camel or Gauloise.

It made me smile. I didn’t need to join the lineup but I’m sure I did queue a few times. French are notoriously bad at planning ahead. We know most shops close at 7 p.m., that supermarkets close at 8 p.m., that few places are open on Sundays and during holidays… yet, we still shop at the last minute.

This is a long weekend in France. Tomorrow, on August 15, Catholics will celebrate the Assumption of Mary, and the rest of us will roam around the city, looking for that one opened bakery to buy a baguette.

And cigarettes, of course.

Coiffard bookstore in Nantes

Coiffard bookstore in Nantes

Traditional (and pricey) cheese shop

Traditional (and pricey) cheese shop

Baguettes at the bakery

Baguettes at the bakery

Baguettes at the bakery

Baguettes at the bakery

Paul Bakery at the train station

Paul Bakery at the train station

Pastries at the bakery

Pastries at the bakery

Souvenirs of Nantes with a LU cookie theme

Souvenirs of Nantes with a LU cookie theme

Souvenirs of Nantes with a LU cookie theme

Souvenirs of Nantes with a LU cookie theme

Wine at the supermarket

Wine at the supermarket

Dry cleaner

Dry cleaner

Ethnic hair care products

Ethnic hair care products

Small grocery shop

Small grocery shop

Souvenirs of Nantes

Souvenirs of Nantes

Shelf stable milk at the supermarket (i.e. non refrigerated thank to the Ultra High-Temperature Pasteurization process)

Shelf stable milk at the supermarket (i.e. non refrigerated thank to the Ultra High-Temperature Pasteurization process)

Newsstand

Newsstand

A tradition in Nantes: lining up at La Coquille, the only bar open on Sundays and late at night selling cigarettes

A tradition in Nantes: lining up at La Coquille, the only bar open on Sundays and late at night selling cigarettes

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

6 Comments

  1. Thing I take for granted. Even I don’t smoke, many convenient stores open until very late at night at some 24/7/365! even I live in suburb! and oh, I love to try flavored-drink where ever I traveled. I think I bought more than 10 ready-to-drink bottles of flavored beverage when I was in Paris =))

    • I love the way stores never seem to close in some parts of Asia. Super convenient, for sure! When I was in Malaysia, I got addicted to cold cans of Milo chocolate milk 😉

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