Calm Euro Days

photo: buddha bar

Not being able to find a bistro while shopping, gives
you this view of the Buddha-Bar instead.

Funny New Money Works Fine

Paris:- Monday, 14. January 2002:- While Le Parisien declared last weekend to be a very tranquil one for the euro, their Sunday edition page-top headline screamed '258 Cars Torched In 5 Days.' Apparently this was the New Year's toll - possibly as a replacement for a lack of fireworks at the Tour Eiffel.

None of the cooked cars were in Paris. High score for the dubious record went to the Yvelines Department where 79 cars were fried. Experts think setting fire to the family or a neighbor's wheels may be a 'mode of expression.' Otherwise, authorities are perplexed.

Welcome To Euroland

French residents confounded forecasts by storming banks in the first week of the year, mainly to exchange their francs for euros. The banks were reported to have hired 50,000 part-time tellers to handle the rush, but were overwhelmed anyway.

In general, users are having problems with the one and two cent pieces - because they are small and because nobody is used to them being worth much. Yet they are handed out as change and pretty soon pockets are full of them.

Then, with this situation, the user carefully looks them over and tries to unload them with the next purchase - which causes everything to slow down as cashiers carefully count the darn little pieces of metal.

Meanwhile tons of old franc pieces are piling up all over the place. With supplies of the new coins beingphoto: rue caumartin, saturday winter sales distributed as quickly as possible in volume, nobody seems too concerned about hauling the old pieces away.

All in all, the European Central Bank estimates that the change-over is more smooth and going more quickly than anticipated - with old currencies being withdrawn from circulation by being exchanged for euros faster.

A tiny fraction of a big mob of shoppers on Caumartin last Saturday.

While users in France seemed to have abandoned the france with few regrets, the greatest problem in daily use is being unfamiliar with the new euro prices for everything.

Think of all the everyday items that you know the prices for - a café, a newspaper, a baguette - and then imagine how life would slow down if you no longer knew these from memory.

Euro Tips

Losers so far with the euro are all those in the service branch that depend on tips to top-up their salaries. Instead of leaving behind 50 centimes for a 6F50 café, customers leave only a handful of one, two and five cent pieces, for an espresso café costing 1.10euro 3 sign.

Instead of getting 10 franc pieces hairdressers are being left with one euro pieces, which are about 35 percent less. But for others, the customers have figured out that the two euro piece is closer to the old 10 franc piece, and it is given instead.

The Big Wheel Story of the Week

This title goes to the big wheel installed in the Place de la Concorde. After weeks of fruitless discussions between the operator and the city, the affair of the permit that expired on Sunday, 6. January at midnight, was decided by a court on Friday.

The operator, Marcel Campion, asked for an alternate location within the city, preferably in the centre, but didn't like any that the city proposed.

On Friday the court decided in favor of the city and gave the operator 48 hours to begin dismantlingphoto: big wheel, concorde the 60-metre high wheel. If this is not done, the fine will be 15,000euro 3 sign per day of delay. Marcel Campion said he would appeal this decision.

On Sunday the wheel was in operation, with free rides for the public, which turned out in force. Some came because they thought it might be the last chance for a ride.

This big wheel might not keep on rolling much longer.

Radio France-Info said this morning that the operator is now claiming he can't dismantle the big wheel because the crane big enough to do it is otherwise engaged in Germany.

It can be imagined that the court's decision will have been officially delivered today. This means the fines will start on Wednesday. Public opinion seems to be somewhat in favor of ridding the Place de la Concorde of the temporary attraction.

Some Info About Euros

All prices within the euro-zone countries in Europe are now posted in euros, just as if you are visiting one foreign country with a currency you have never seen before.

You can go to the trouble to calculate the euro value of the RATP's métro-bus tickets in francs if you want to waste your time. Residents here are not bothering with this and are simply trying to memorize the new prices.

Here are the new prices, which will be posted in euros, and in francs for those trying to unload them:-

  • 1.30euro 3 sign - for a single métro/bus ticket
  • 9.30euro 3 sign - for a 'carnet' of 10 tickets
  • 5euro 3 sign - for a one-day 2-zone Mobilis card
  • 16.75euro 3 sign - for a weekly 3-zone Orange card
  • 44.36euro 3 sign - for a monthly 2-zone Orange card

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