Some Things Strike Me Funny
The use of gift cards is more widespread in the States than it is in France. My sister and brother-in-law received quite a few from friends and colleagues to help them in this difficult time. It is an easy way to give a gift without it being exactly money and also permitting the person some choice in the matter. So I had the idea of getting one for my nephew for his birthday. My intention was to give him a bottle of wine but let him choose according to his taste. At the state store (where alcoholic beverages are sold in Pennsylvania) I chose a card among several decors and also a folder to present the card on which I could create a credit for whatever amount I desired. I decided on $10 thinking that would do for a decent bottle. The cashier then informed me that would be $10. I was struck by some strange funny bug; no one else seemed to find this humorous, except my husband tonight when I told him the story.
Another strange thing in that part of the world is the addition of fries as a garnish for a salad. Some friends had brought pizza and salad along one evening to share a meal. We were surprised to see fries when we opened the salad box. Then when I saw this on the menu at a restaurant, it was a clincher. When you order a salad, often you are trying to be “good” but you really would like something “bad” like fries and voilà, you can have both!
One afternoon at the supermarket I was surprised to see all kinds of gift cards for many businesses including local restaurants. This supermarket also has a program where according to how much you spend, you can earn cents off at their gas station. My sister was working up to 40 cents a gallon off. She had received a gift card for the restaurant where we planned to eat that evening, but realizing we would probably spend more than that, she bought herself a gift card, thus contributing to her discount on gasoline!