Buying furniture in France, or why I miss dad’s big blue truck

We had to buy a new sommier (box spring) today because our old one was held up with books. Thank you Harry Potter for not letting our mattress fall to the ground. I’m still amazed at how cheaply-made beds are in France. Thin wood held together with staples, what a genius idea. That wood will never snap in the middle of the night and scare the bejeezus out of someone who was finally catching up on sleep.

Since we know absolutely no one with a truck or van, we had to find a store that delivers furniture for barely anything since a) we were only going to spend 100 € on the sommier, and b) we’re poor. Ikea and Conforama charged a bit too much for delivery, plus we’re too impatient to wait for things to be in stock, and Darty only sells appliances (but they do have free delivery!)

We settled on Carrefour because it was really our only option. We found a sommier we could afford, but of course, could not find a single worker to help us. After trips to the accueil and the mafia-looking security men at the entrance, we discovered that Carrefour doesn’t deliver anyway, but you can borrow one of their trucks and do the work yourself for free (up to one hour). They just need a copy of your driver’s license and a deposit check for 153 €.

So we filled out the paperwork to borrow the truck first and then went back in the store to try to buy the sommier. After a 5 minute chat with one of David’s friends (because there will always be someone you know at Carrefour on a Saturday morning), the worker who had disappeared for 25 minutes when we first arrived had magically reappeared. We paid for the sommier and mafia man escorted us outside, lighting his cigarette as soon as he stepped out of the door. I think we made his day by giving him a legitimate excuse to go outside and smoke. He even gave us extra time so we could stop by the déchetterie to drop off our broken sommier on the way back without going over the one hour limit.

The truck was parked at the other end of the parking lot. Logical, I know. First of all, it wasn’t really a truck, but the dirtiest minivan I had ever seen. Boxes and styrofoam and plastic wrap were all over the place, and there were what appeared to be holes punched into the interior wood walls. I can’t even describe it properly, so here’s a picture I snapped as soon as we took off:

We arrived home at noon, drug the new sommier upstairs, and were about to take the old sommier downstairs when we realized the stupid déchetterie is closed between noon and 2pm. Of course. 99% of places are closed between noon and two in France, including a freaking garbage/recycling center!!

So I set up the sommier, with the help of Canaille, while David took the “truck” back to Carrefour. Though Canaille really just wanted to eat the cardboard…

And generally get in the way….


So now we’re left with an ugly broken sommier in the hallway. It will most likely stay there until the first Wednesday of March, when our town lets everyone put out their old furniture by the road so that the city will take it away to the déchetterie. We just missed February’s pick up date, which was 3 days ago. ::sigh::

I had just gotten my hallway back – we had our dishwasher sitting there for like 2 months because we had no way of transporting it to David’s parents’ garage. So we just moved it back into the loggia (small pantry-like room), where we can’t use it because there’s only one water hookup (for the washing machine), about 2 days ago. ::double sigh::

So I guess the moral of the story is to become friends with a Frenchie who owns a truck.

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  • Justin

    How funny! Thanks for the info on Carrefour allowing you to borrow a truck! I will need to take advantage of that if offered in my town. I know Conforama has trucks, but I never looked in to prices. I am sure I will eventually need to purchase a new bed (the one I have is horribly uncomfortable).

  • Le Tigre

    Argh! Good luck with the new bed, I hope it’s more durable than the last! There’s nothing worse than moving beds and mattresses..

  • Justin

    How funny! Thanks for the info on Carrefour allowing you to borrow a truck! I will need to take advantage of that if offered in my town. I know Conforama has trucks, but I never looked in to prices. I am sure I will eventually need to purchase a new bed (the one I have is horribly uncomfortable).

  • Le Tigre

    Argh! Good luck with the new bed, I hope it’s more durable than the last! There’s nothing worse than moving beds and mattresses..

  • Penny

    Hope you get a good night’s sleep!BTW, your cat has really grown up fast – he’s beautiful:)

  • Penny

    Hope you get a good night’s sleep!

    BTW, your cat has really grown up fast – he’s beautiful

    :)

  • Nikki

    While furniture shopping/delivery is definitely different between the U.S. and France…I’m glad to see a cat’s “helpfulness” remains the same :)

  • Nikki

    While furniture shopping/delivery is definitely different between the U.S. and France…
    I’m glad to see a cat’s “helpfulness” remains the same :)

  • Crystal

    hey..ok this comment is completely unrelated to your post, but as I was reading your blog yesterday, Max wandered past the computer and said “who’s that?” referring to your photo on the blog. I told him it’s another ex-pat living in France (annecy of all places, lol) and that we had a lot in common so I like reading the blog. He shrugged and said “well, she’s really cute”. Lol, men. They are the same no matter which country you live in!

  • Crystal

    hey..ok this comment is completely unrelated to your post, but as I was reading your blog yesterday, Max wandered past the computer and said “who’s that?” referring to your photo on the blog. I told him it’s another ex-pat living in France (annecy of all places, lol) and that we had a lot in common so I like reading the blog. He shrugged and said “well, she’s really cute”. Lol, men. They are the same no matter which country you live in!

  • JJ

    When I looked to buy a mattress, I couldn’t decide whether to buy a regular mattress or go for a Memory Foam Mattress. In the end I decide on the memory foam and went looking for a Cheap memory Foam Mattress I found one and it was the best decision of my life! I highly recommend them! Did my back wonders too!

  • JJ

    When I looked to buy a mattress, I couldn’t decide whether to buy a regular mattress or go for a Memory Foam Mattress. In the end I decide on the memory foam and went looking for a Cheap memory Foam Mattress I found one and it was the best decision of my life! I highly recommend them! Did my back wonders too!

Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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