Don’t use the word “grand” lightly

When it is 39*C in Paris, and you’ve spent the morning walking the streets, standing in lines or climbing towers, by lunch all you want to do is sit down in a cool cafe (and by cool I mean shaded, not AC, because that is rare in Paris) and drink something VERY VERY cold.  Now at home, getting a tall glass of ice water is automatic, and a glass of Coke is bottomless.  But that isn’t true here.  Ice is a rarity, and a default drink size is 250 – 330 mL, with a “large” option being 500 mL.  This “larger” option is usually around €7 or 8,00 in a cafe (that is, around $12).  And today was HOT.  So I thought i’d splurge on the “large” variety, and ordered a “grand.”  Ray did the same with his beer.

Except when you order drinks here, it’s usually by size, (or with wine, by glass, half bottle, or bottle), that is 33 cL for example (centilitres, or 330 mL for those not well versed with metric conversions).  But this time the waiter didn’t clarity, we didn’t clarify, and we just said “grand.”

And then they came around the corner, with 1L mugs, both with rockets of fire shooting out of the top, as to let everyone know that WE were the stupid tourists who ordered the “North American” sized drinks.  It was as if the drinks themselves were mocking us.  From a distance, they were the size of the towers of Notre Dame.  I thought it was hilarious – total rookie mistake (and one I won’t repeat).  Ray was in total panic until the bill came.  He was “happy” to know that his “grand” beer was only €14,00 (that is a $20 mug of beer, much less than he thought it would be).  Expensive lesson learned.

grand

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