Before Bill and I met he took a trip to France. He told me that it was a trip of mixed emotions. I think a lot of the time he was miserable (he went alone). But, he brought back two important purchases: (1) he imported a Mercedes Benz - a car that he kept on the road for years after; and (2) a French traffic sign that he had purchased in a sign shop. This is precisely the kind of thing I would never buy while abroad because the shipping is so difficult. Bill said that he drove all around France with it (in his new Mercedes) and ended up shipping the sign out of England. I think the car was easier to bring back than the sign.
When Bill and the kids and I went to France he had talked so much about these 'Sign Shops' that we were determined to find one for ourselves. Will was especially keen to find a cool Gallic sign for his room. We looked everywhere in Paris for such a shop but, to no avail. "Cette boutique n'est pas ici" (Will was already speaking better French than his parents and the sarcasm was evident). In the end, Will had to settle for ripping a paper sign off the walls of the Metro. It's still hanging in his room.
I admired Bill for finding such a shop, spotting this wonderful sign and hauling it home. He had purchased it for the pure pleasure of having this constant reminder of the French mindset. The sign is now properly framed and hangs above my own confusion zone: my desk.