Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I remember the first time I came to Paris, the highlight of my aunt and uncle’s visit was to go to Fnac. I wasn’t sure what was special about it, it just seemed like the biggest ever Our Price to me (a chain of record shops when I was a kid). There certainly were a lot of records there, but at fifteen I was unable to see its full potential. When I lived in Madrid there was a Fnac off Sol near the Corte Ingles (a department store). I still wasn’t over enamoured with it then. It was a good place to get concert tickets, but I couldn’t see how it had claimed that space in the European psyche. And then I arrived in Paris.

Fnac is as much a part of French culture as the baguette and the French language. It sells ... things. I bought my first mobile phone in Fnac and then my first DVD player. I bought my i-pod there, my digital camera. I go there to stand in the presence of really expensive, really shit hot speakers. Sometimes when no one is looking I stroke those speakers. I stand in front of the guide book section and wonder whether to buy the Lonely Planet or the Guide Routard. I go there to wander by the piles of CD’s that are there to tempt you. ‘Look at me,’ they rustle as your fingers glide over their wrapping. There’s a spot in every Fnac where a little space has been provided, music is piped and there are French men lounging around on the floor with their heads buried in the latest BD (Comic book).

Fnac is one of the only stores that can legally open on Sundays. Fnac sells culture, so Fnac can sell.

I wondered past Fnac’s magnetic field yesterday and could not resist its pull through the doors and up the escalators. I glided around the camera section, CD section, DVD section, past the tills. I was on that golden high of clutching a Fnac bag. I got home and manically ripped off the cellophane wrapping, whacked up the sound on the CD player and then realised I had intended to buy salad!

Anyway here are some other things that you can buy in France.

Phoktober 23rd

Phoktober 24th

Phoktober 25th

Phoktober 26th

Phoktober 27th

Phoktober 28th

Phoktober 29th

Phoktober 30th


kimy said...

resistance is futile??? well a cd lasts a whole lot longer than salad greens.

I guess I missed out on french culture...in the 3 visits I made to paris, I don't think I went into a Fnac! but then am not really a shopper.

been wondering what is going to happen thursday when phoktober ends...can't believe those little miss and little mr books are still out there - when my e was little she had a bunch of them - and she's now 28! the 'franchise' lasted much longer than I would have expected!

how are your knees?

Jefferson Davis said...

Lovely pictures, V. I love the picture of the violins. And, I now know where to shop for consumer goods, when in Paris. :)

Shameless Words said...

The FNAC here in Lyon is also a good nest to go to on a day off. There is even a café in ours now ... right in the books section ... bliss bliss bliss. I couldn't live without it. All my electricals/electronics ... in fact, all of my everythings ... are from there! lol

Minx said...

Ooo, oooo, ooooh! I want an Elmer le elephant.

I go out for milk, I come back with shoes - is this not normal?

kyklops said...

Just curious, but how is "Fnac" pronounced? Is it simply "eff-nack"?

...the Lonely Planet or the Guide Routard.

I love it when I learn new words: backpackers are "routards"!
[The depth and breadth of my childish sense of humor is really quite staggering...]

Sam said...

I like the Fnac - but I'm not really a big shopper. I always go shopping with something specific in mind - I can't just windowshop.

Jon M said...

I'll have the hurdy gurdy and the Mr Men books please!
Trouble with Mr Men in Fresh is they say @Gling' instead of crash. Like in Asterix, when he hits someone...'paf'...not quite right!

Taffiny said...

the sculpture really caught my eye, such a contrast to the image before it. And then all the lovely musical instruments followed.

I am indecisive, so I either buy none, or several. (so it is best I avoid shopping)

I am so into itunes, I can't remember the last time I bought a cd.

Kat said...

Here my favorite record shop is FYE. I buy CDS at least 3 at a time: something old, something new, something blues...

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Nah, who needs salad when music is the food of the soul (she said misquoting that Shakespeare fellow).

Right, now where are the shots of the interior of Galleries Lafayette and Printemps?

I think I need to pay another visit to Paris... sigh...

Verilion said...

Hi Kimy, I don't really consider myself a proper shopper either, but Fnac just has that affect on people. Thanks for asking about the knees. I have to go to see a physiotherapist but it seems he does not work on the days I can go!
JD - there are plenty of places to go shopping in paris, but if you want violins, then that shop is pretty good.
Hi Seamus, yeah I think there are cafes here in Paris too, I just never get up that far!
Minx - it's perfectly normal.
Kyklops I'm answering your question, but I get the impression that I'm missing the joke here. It's prounounced "fNAC"
Sam - I like to think I'm the shopper you describe, but Fnac does bad things to me.
Ah but Jon you have to say Paf with the right accent and the right kind of temperament and then it's OK. It's very onomatopoeic. Oh and BTW thanks for telling me it was a hurdy gurdy. I didn't actually know what it was.
Hi Taffiny. The sculpture is actually by one of my colleagues. It's new (well to me) so it caught my eye. I also like i-tunes, but sometimes seeing stuff out makes you think of stuff you wouldn't have bought.
Kat that sounds like a good method.
Well Vanilla, I have to say that I prefer Printemp to Galaries Lafayette. I take ALL my visitors to Printemps for lunch!

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Right, I'm coming over to visit right away then! ;-)

Princess Haiku said...

Hi, I found you via absolute vanilla and glad that I did. I like the photos of the instruments.

I am getting back into my writing again, too. The winter months are perfect for staying up late and writing under moonlight. Another blogger friend is doing the write a book in a month thing and I may give that a try. It will at least be good for getting into productive mode again. If you are interested its http://nanowrimo.org. Doesn't sound like you need it though. :)

Verilion said...

Oh really Vanilla. Better get tidying up then!
Hello Princess Haiku. I had heard of Nanowrimo through The Moon Topples Blog, but I have difficulties posting every day here, let alone writing every day. Good luck though, I'll keep my fingers crossed.

apprentice said...

photograph a patisserie (splg?)and then I can drool!

Verilion said...

Will see what I can do Apprentice. I can think of a really nice one that certainly has me drooling.


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