Don’t you just love names that end in “-rama?” It just sounds like bigger and better fun, doesn’t it? Try it right now and you’ll see what I mean: take any word, no matter how mundane, and add “-rama,” or “-o-rama” to the end of it. Go ahead, I’ll wait…

Am I right? The French agree, too, and there is an abundance of stores with this hyperbolizing suffix: Conforama, Castorama, Bricorama. You just know when you go to one of these places it’s going to be a wang dang doodle all day long. A shop-o-rama!

Chic and cheap. My dishes from Conforama.

Conforama is best known for sofabeds and mattresses, but they also sell home deco, appliances—even full kitchens. There’s one just two blocks from my apartment, and I confess I’m a regular. Visit my apartment and you’ll see plenty of Conforama booty: my sofabed, mattress, bedding. Yep, even my dishes and flatware. I can’t help myself. Blame the “-rama.”

Then there’s Castorama, my other vice. It’s like Loews or Home Depot, and there’s one near Place de la Nation, a ten-minute walk from my apartment. During the renovation, I wore a groove in the paving stones between my apartment and this store; spent more money here than anywhere in Paris. I’m proud of this, by the way.

I have loyalty cards at both “-ramas,” Confo- and Casto-, but I have yet to visit a Bricorama. There’s a huge one in the eastern suburbs near IKEA, and it’s calling me. Brico, short for bricolage, means hardware, but Bricorama means hardware and more. And more! I must go—compelled to go—regardless of the fact I don’t need any more hardware or deco. But I can’t bear to miss out on any party that is -RAMA. Bigger, better—Paris-o-rama!


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