It’s no secret that Paris is pricy – the French capital is now the most expensive city in the world together with Singapore and Hong Kong.
But apart from skyrocketing rents and regretfully expensive meals out at trendry bistrots, Parisians now have to put up with the prospect of being ripped off when they order a bottle of sparkling water.
Friday’s Photo of the Day was taken by Paris-based journalist Nora Hamadi, who tweeted out this image of her bistrot bill for five bottles of Perrier water (also steeply priced at €5,50 each) and a jaw-dropping ¢50 charge for each of the slices of lemon they came with.
— Nora Hamadi (@NoraHamadi) September 16, 2019
The ARTE journalist rounded off her tweet – which has since some 3,000 shares and 8,000 likes since Monday – with the words “vol manifeste” and “#foutagedegueuleabsolu”, which can be translated as 'daylight robbery' and '#absolutepisstake' in English.
Hamadi and her entourage had to cough up a total of €30 for the five bottles of water at the Bistrot de la Tour in Paris’s 15th arrondissement.
At close inspection, the restaurant’s menu does mention the cost of a slice of lemon in small writing, as well as the additional charge for syrup, milk and even €1 for anyone wanting to use the toilet without buying anything first.
One Parisian replied to Hamadi’s tweet by saying “In the 15th they’d make you pay for the air if they could”.
It’s a sentiment shared by many other people in the French capital, who are asking themselves what complimentary service will soon have a price tag. Ice cubes? Serviettes?
One commentator appeared to have spotted the value of this emerging commodity: “Lemon is the new bitcoin”.
“Long live the countryside!,” was another conclusion drawn vis-à-vis the cost of living in Paris.
Although one Twitter user replied to Hamadi’s tweet with a photo taken at a bistrot in Perpignan in southern France which also included the ¢20 charge for a slice of lemon. Could the surcharge trend be spreading?
A Perpignan aussi! Mais en moins cher. Mais la photo date de trois ans donc on est peut-être à 50 centimes aussi maintenant! pic.twitter.com/ThyD28oeDj
— towanda_threadgoode (@Towanda_Thread) September 16, 2019
“It is a rip-off but I guess they have to make up for the high rents they pay,” one young woman told Le Parisien, who conducted a similar study on the costly lemon slice at Bistrot de la Tour.
“It feels a bit like the small print on job contracts that you have to pay special attention,” a city worker added.
“It’s right at the bottom with an asterisk so technically it’s there but it’s hard to spot”.
How about you? Have you had any similar experiences in the French capital where you were charged for something that’s always been free, or overcharged for something which is usually cheap? Get in touch, send us your pics and let us know!