Georgia Institute of TechnologyMike McCracken's GTL-Blog
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I had to start somewhere and grocery shopping is one of those things people seem to need to do so they can eat.

As in Atlanta, there are lots of choices. The one closest to GTL is called Cora. It is essentially a Wal-Mart super store. It has everything, but you have to find it. They like to move things around, so where it was last week, may not be where it is this week.

Auchon is a better market in my opinion than Cora. It is harder to find and takes longer to get to, so in general, you won’t run to Auchon for a bottle of milk (I forgot to tell you they nuke the milk over here, therefore, it is not refrigerated, so stop looking in the cheese section for milk). Auchon is like Cora in that it is a version of a Wal-Mart super store, it is just a better quality store.

There are other smaller markets around, mainly ATAC which is near the “other” apartments. In addition, there is a place called Gran Frais that is across the highway from Cora (but sits behind a car dealership). It is fantastic for fruits, vegetables, some meats, and assorted things like nuts and candy. I highly recommend it.

The market is downtown located at the cathedral. It is open on Sat. morning. There are outside vendors, usually the fruit and vegetable types, and inside vendors, mainly meats, fish etc. The food there is fresh and good. I highly recommend it. Once you get comfortable getting around, the market is fun to go to on Saturday.

Heres a story about Cora

When I first got to Metz, everyone advised me that Cora has everything It is easy to find (I wasn't sure where the GTL parking lot was yet), and they take credit cards. Oh boy, off to Cora.

As life has evolved in Metz, I find Cora is not the be all end all store, but I still frequent it enough to recommend it to other newcomers. Everyone at GTL knows about Cora. In fact ask anyone (French or American) where to find something and inevitably they will respond Cora. I don't think they really know the answer, it's just that they believe Cora has everything and they are close to being right. And if you go look for something at Cora and you can't find it, the person you asked will tell you that you didn't look hard enough. "They (Cora) have to have it."

So, what's a Cora? A gigantic Walmart Super Store type of place, with stuff that moves randomly around the store. That's what makes it exciting or frustrating depending on your mood.

They don't move the meat department or the wine department. That's too easy to spot. But they do move subtle things. One day, someone was getting sick and my wife asked me to pick up some kleenex. Easy, Cora rules, we'll get it and be home in a jif. After searching every aisle in Cora (and that's a bunch of aisles), I had just about given up hope. I had used every analogy I could think of to see if kleenex were here or there. You know, paper goods, nope, cold medicines, nope, ok, let's be inventive, how about with the bananas, nope. So, I then embarked on the search every dad gum aisle. Aha, I know why my logic failed me! I'm not a very good analogy maker. You see I found the kleenex at the end of the feminine products aisle. Makes perfect since. They both are white. Gee, how dumb of me.

Well the other day I was in dear Cora and saw the kleenex somewhere else. Agh, they moved it. I better not get sick until I get back to Atlanta!

There is an algorithm that seems to work for finding stuff at Cora It's the proximity algorithm. The store is divided into roughly four or five parts. The stuff doesn't cross proximal boundaries. You won't find washing machines in the wine section any more than you'll find CD's in the produce department. But within proximal locale's the stuff moves with abandon. Take paper napkins. Logic says with paper goods, right? Nope, paper goods are in the grocery section you see. But, paper napkins are with picnic supplies in the home section. And those damn paper napkins are always on the move along with plastic forks and everything else that might be construed as used for picnics. My challenge to you is to find the bbq charcoal. I tried once, and gave up, and went across the street to the gardening store. I knew Cora had it, it was just the bbq was scheduled in 2 hours, and I knew I might not make it back home in time if I searched Cora.

Auchon is much nicer than Cora. It's about 20 minutes away (versus 5). It has better quality stuff, and nothing moves. But what's the fun in Auchon if there is no challenge!

Last modified 21 November 2005 at 7:41 am by Mike McCracken