Jeff Steiner's Americans in France.
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Daily LifeMiscellaneous Info

By Brad Smith

BICYCLES: Oddly enough, bike tires are still measured in inches in France (called "pouce") and the standard sizes match those in the U.S.: 20", 24", 26", ... Bicycles are, in general, much more expensive in France than at, say, Academy in Austin. If you're a serious biker, you may appreciate the high quality, high cost bikes available in the land of La Tour de France, but most of us just want a bike. Buy them in the States and have them shipped.

GAS GRILLS: You can buy gas or charcoal grills in France, but they are noticeably more expensive than at, say Academy (yes, I do like to shop there!). If you want to bring your American gas grill with you, it is possible to connect a local gas tank to it. Even though the connectors are different between the U.S. and France, it seems the rubber hoses are the same size. You can disconnect the hose and attach it to the local connector with a simple hose clamp.

LIGHT BULBS: There are two standards for light bulb connections in France. The one called "standard" is different from American bulbs. It slides in straight (instead of screwing in) and a slight twist clicks it into place with two pins that stick out of the base. There are also screw-in light bulbs in France, which are the same as used in the U.S. An American lamp will work in France with an adaptor and a local bulb. You can't use your American light bulbs because they are designed for 110V and will blow if plugged into 220V. On the other hand, we have found an impressive selection of lamps in France. OK, they're not exactly cheap, but the selection blows away anything we saw in the States.

BATTERIES: Batteries (AA, AAA, C, D, 9V) are the same in Europe as in the U.S. However, as with many other things, they are more expensive in France. Be prepared to pay 1 € per battery.

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