Carrefour, I think I'll miss you most of all.

Carrefour. Say it with me.


Don't know how to say it? Me neither. I say "Carry For," wistfully, breathlessly.


It's like a Super Wal-Mart, but would make Sam Walton weep with shame and inadequacy. It's like a Target, but more, more, more. It's . . . Carrefour.

It sits next to the Main Press Center, catering to all our needs, except for Sundays, when our needs go uncatered to.

Sundays are sad.

The revolving doors are big enough for you, your shopping companions, your bags and several shopping carts full of everything you can't get in bags. In the lobby there is a travel agency, a hair and makeup supply store (Clinique! Oh joy!), a photography studio doing children's shots, a Sergio Tacchini for folks who can wear that kind of thing and a Baskin-Robbins for those who can't.

Down the giant escalators, also big enough for side-by-side shopping carts and Baskin-Robbins eaters, is a Jumbo, a sort of Toys R Us (Trivial Pursuit in Greek! What an ironic Christmas present!). But Jumbo is somehow more . . . joyous. And it sells Greek Princess Barbie.

Up the giant escalators, TVs, DVD and CD players, weed whackers.

In the grocery area, bags of raw shrimp, fresh strawberry pies, 14 kinds of feta.

When my delicates became less delicate, I went looking for something like Woolite and came out with . . . Woolite.

American brands. Euro brands. Greek brands.

Oh, sweet Carrefour.

The mugs in which we brew our coffee and tea? Carrefour. The five shower curtains (don't ask) adorning our windows? Carrefour. The string from which they are hanging? Carrefour. Our Tefal water-boiling apparatus? Carrefour. A bag in which to sneak all of this into the MPC? Carrefour.

On my most recent trip I left with lemon candies; nail clippers; six boxes of Energy 7 drink ("8 fruit juices" and "7 vitamins"; clearly, one fruit is not pulling its weight); hair clippies; breadsticks; a bottle of Guinness ("the Energy 7 alternative"); tea bags; a Carrefour pin (don't tell Mike Wise!); a side of beef; a plasma TV; and a pack of gum.

I really needed that gum.

-- Tracee Hamilton


American Breaux Greer, 27, of Monroe, La., competed in the javelin qualifying Thursday with the 4-W-H-A-T written on the fingers of his left hand, along with the number 17. He said the inscription was to remind him of what he was competing for, explaining that he had 17 friends around his age who had died over the years for various reasons. He declined to expound.

"That's my own personal message out here," Greer said.

-- Amy Shipley

Breaux Greer of the United States has the javelin and his personal message well in hand.