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Americans: What do you wish you'd packed?

Posted by gofrance - Created: 14 years ago
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We are about to move to France for a year in 2-3 weeks, and I am just wondering what American items either are hard to find there, expensive there, or are something you just plain REALLY miss there. Any tips of what you miss, or wish you had packed?

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10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

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Posted by michelle-180928 - 14 years ago

If you have children, I would suggest bringing a stock of children's tylenol and motrin. Not because it's unavailable here - but because, quite frankly, the french believe that medicine *should* taste horrible because it's medicine.

I found several times with my daughter that we've had actual *battles* to get her to take her meds...

For the rest, I believe it depends what area you're moving to - there are regions with more anglos than others...

Good luck.

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Posted by Mollie-182222 - 14 years ago

I saw your question, and the many answers, and I could not resist answering.

My sister works for Fed Ex, so I have had the chance to send over things that are not necessary, but I love having in my pantry. For example...Velveeta to make Rotel cheese dip, cans of things... like black beans, green chiles, pumpkin puree, Cambell's soups ( to make casseroles.), dried cranberries. I make these types of foods off and on for "special" occasions, and people love it! So, if you can add in things like that to your belongings, you will be glad later.

Anything from Costco that you can find ( I miss Costco) -- except I don't advise too many electric things to convert. Buy a dvd player here, and make sure it is multi-zone, or "de-zone" it. Then, bring your supply of dvd's, cd's etc..especially at Costco prices, and you are set! Towels, odds and ends,books, rubbermaid food containers, large storage containers (hard to find here at decent prices...)

For your home... Candles here are not as available as at home when it comes to variety and scents. I love candles, so I always head to Pier 1, Target, etc... and stock up on my favorite candles to have here. Christmas decorations, too. I find some of the choice here quite limited and not too unusual.

Good luck!

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Posted by cheffie - 14 years ago

You're going to wish you never asked this question. I just remembered 1 more thing--------- potato masher!! Difficult to find no Mashers 'R' Us here!!

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Posted by lulu-183463 - 14 years ago

i wish i had brought small gifts for french friends and other people i've met living here. little things or shirts perhaps that say names of american cities. even candies made in the u.s make really good gifts. i've discovered that my friend's (french) daughter and 2 boys love jelly bellies. things i miss are from trader joes and also traditional japanese foods to prepare that are really hard to find here. have a good move and know you're going to have a blast in france! L

this is NOT a dress rehearsal
 

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Posted by bunny-189601 - 14 years ago

a laptop with a querty or English keyboard. All the French ones have french keyboards obviously and the keys are in the wrong places.

Packets of curry pastes eg butter chicken and Thai green curry paste. French food is very bland and the supermarkets do not sell many international food products or vegetarian products or diet foods, - definately bring diet hot chocolate powder!

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Posted by ForceV4-191131 - 14 years ago

Seems like you had plenty of medication advice... just one more thing... Regarding aspirin (or ibuprofen or paracetamol)... besides being generally less expensive, if you have medical insurance here, and your doctor prescribes it, it may be covered. 

Items really worth bringing that are a lot less expensive from the US, especially places like CostCo: batteries, film if you still have a regular camera, CD/R blank disks if you use them on your computer, vitamins, daily disposable contact lenses.

Not as important for a 1-year stay, but we usually pack them: high-fiber good-tasting cereals from Trader Joes or CostCo (bulky, but if you like cereal for breakfast, there's no choice here except for All-Bran, or sugary cereal), brownie mix, pancake mix, maple syrup (very expensive here), natural peanut butter...

& don't forget English Books & magazines!

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Posted by gofrance - 14 years ago

Thanks!

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Posted by gofrance - 14 years ago

OK, thanks for the drug names. Here, you would never find something with codiene OTC. That is definitely good to know.

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Posted by szozu - 14 years ago

If you take aspirin, bring a bottle. It's available here, but it's not cheap and it's sold in very small quantities.

Lana

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Posted by cheffie - 14 years ago

Don't worry about Advil, it is only ibuprofen. Here you can buy it as Nurofen or Upfen. Same thing, different name.