Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Vide Grenier in Chalabre

The term literally means "attic emptying". Call it the French version of a swap meet, car-boot sale or community yard sale...

This one kicked off at 7 a.m. but it was well past 9:30 by the time we arrived in Chalabre, a large village about 15 minutes away. One of the main streets was clogged with traffic, the other closed off and lined with stalls with more stalls shoehorned into the narrow side streets. 

A kit for slicing and serving foie gras. Monogrammed linen sheets, never used. Enough plastic toys and kids clothes to delight and outfit half the smaller residents of southern France. Paperbacks, record albums, posters, plates...

  Some of our home furnishings were finds at vide greniers but this time, no luck.We looked longingly at a 1940s sideboard, all curves and carved flowers and only 50 euros. No space for it at the moment. A green-painted art nouveau stove, the same. Both are now in other people's homes or, possibly, have moved up the secondhand social scale to a brocante where they will sell for double the price. 

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