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French Shops

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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