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My husband and I are planning to move to Paris in September. We're hoping to stay in the city for 6 months. We're both writers so it's a matter of "have laptop/can write anywhere". I was also a live-in nanny for many years in NYC so I'm hoping to pick up the occasional expat babysitting gig. Any suggestions on where to post my information/availability/qualifications is appreciated.

Anyway...my big question. What silly everyday item do you miss?

I used to travel to the UK a lot (in the late 90s) and all of my expat friends would beg me to bring Ziploc bags for them. On my trips over the last few years, I see that they are now widely available in Europe. I'm putting together my list of oddities to bring but I'm just wondering what weird Americana item I might be overlooking.

All that said, I can *make do*, I was raised by happy hippies. :)

Sorry, one more question. I want to bring my sewing machine with me. I have tons of converters but I'm wondering if they have a long-term negative effect on electronics (like sewing machines, laptops, etc.). Any insight is MUCH appreciated.
 

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Aluminum foil!! The French foil is a thin and plastic-like travesty. And plastic bags (Ziploc and non-Ziplock). And Q-tips (again much sturdier than the French variety). And a 5lb bag of Costco walnuts.

Mainly, of course, things that one should try to do without, from a green perspective....

Have a good stay in Paris!
 

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No long-term bad effects on electronics - check the "brick" or the UL label on whatever you have. Most of them are rated for 110-250V and 50 or 60 Hz. If that's the case, all you need is a plug adapter.

In the case of a sewing machine, I'd be wary. The difference in Hz (which you can't adjust with a transformer) is said to shorten the lives of most motors. Unless sewing machines have gone all-electronic recently, I suspect running for a long time on a transformer won't do the machine much good.

Over the years, the items I miss from the US have mostly either become available or my tastes have changed to the point that I no longer miss them. If you like pop corn, bring a supply with you. It's expensive (probably "imported") - a little barquette of 500 g costs as much as a 2 or 3 lb bag of unpopped pop corn in the States.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Sorry, one more question. I want to bring my sewing machine with me. I have tons of converters but I'm wondering if they have a long-term negative effect on electronics (like sewing machines, laptops, etc.). Any insight is MUCH appreciated.
We used a UK 240 volt sewing machine in the US by using a transformer or the dryer outlet - at 60Hz. It survived 20 years of this and is still going strong back on its native 50Hz 240Vac here in France. There should not be a long term effect but you might have to make some minor adjustments as the motor speed will be slightly different. Laptops are universal voltage - they have to be for road warriors (like wot I wuz); the only device I know that will not work via transformers is a digital clock (unless it is dual voltage).

Cheers
 

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Hi JeanMSP - If you like to drink tea you might want to bring your favourite brand with you as there's not the greatest choice in the shops, also gravy powder or Oxo if you like them! Electrical goods in France seem to be much more expensive than UK or US so just bring your elec items and use the converter plugs! Best of luck, Janine
 

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I would not bring a US sewing machine!! I have a friend who blew up 3 (yes, three) sewing machines even taking all the precautions everyone talks about. Ok, if its a cheapy you don't care about fine. But if it's one that you actually love, don't bring it.

If you use it for your sewing, you might want to bring wax paper.
 
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