One Shop I Love: By dé Bo in Uzes - Travels Blogs

One Shop I Love: By dé Bo in Uzes

Spend any time with expats in France and before too long someone will start whining (or whinging as my English friends like to say) about how poorly they were recently treated by a shop keeper, restaurateur, bank, utility company, parking guy or what have you.  

My most recent gripe was how my bank here in St. Remy--a branch of one of three biggest banks in France--no longer takes or gives out money in the afternoon.  No cash in, no cash out, any afternoon.

Before that, I was grumbling about my phone/internet provider, who told me--after three of their modem boxes crashed within two weeks--to find another company if I didn't like their service. Oh, and I should stop breaking their modem boxes. Because if this one stopped working, they wouldn't give me another. (Anyone who has ever switched phone companies in France knows that's not an option any sane person would pursue.)

Every expat has a tale--or 20--of woe. One of my favorites: up in Paris, blogger David Lebovitz writes about leaving his apartment more than once only to find a ''Sorry you weren't home when we tried to deliver your package!" sticker on the front door.

And whatever you do, don't ever ask an expat about the process of getting a French resident card, long-stay visa or carte de sejour. By the time the teller gets round to the end of the story--cataloging for you every time-wasting hassle and indignity he/she suffered along the way--you'll have decided that getting the visa itself couldn't be anywhere near as painful as listening to the story is. Trust me on this one: Do. Not. Ask.
But come to think of it, my French friends do this too...meaning, complain about customer service. Not to go down that road but it does sometimes seem that businesses here (what with lunchtime closings, Sunday closings, seasonal hours, bank holidays, no-return policies, etc.) operate more for the convenience of owners and employees than customers. 

So it's always a nice surprise to have an experience that goes the total opposite way... meaning, you get treated exactly how you'd like to be treated. So here's a shout out to my new favorite clothes shop and its charming owner, who completely won me over with her warmth and cool attitude before I even had a look at her beautiful clothes.

Back in July, my friend Steph gave me a very-generous birthday gift: a 200? gift certificate from a St. Remy boutique called By dé Bo. I noted the December expiration date, which of course I had to whinge about just a bit: I only had five months to use it" And what does 12/14 mean" Does that mean Dec 1" December 31" And how lame is it to make a gift certificate by simply scribbling on the back of your business card" Never mind--I was thrilled with the gift and taped it to my desk so I wouldn't lose it or forget.

So with that vague December deadline looming, I popped into town a month ago hoping to get a coat. Only t...

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