Yesterday, I finally finished the garage cleanup job that we started on August 1. We had taken out two or three carloads of stuff we didn't want anymore and deposited it all at the local recycling center.
Then we filled the Peugeot with stuff that we thought shouldn't be thrown out but should be donated to the French charity organization called Emmaüs — it's a chain of sort of Good Will stores. The car was really stuffed full — there was even stuff on the front passenger seat and floor — and I called Emmaüs over in Romorantin (aka Romo) to arrange for a drop-off.
All I got was a recorded message saying: Nous sommes actuellement en congé. "We are currently on vacation." And that was all — no further information about a scheduled re-opening. I parked the packed-up Peugeot under the carport. Every day for about two weeks, I called Emmaüs (pronounced approximately ay-mah-yuce) and got the exact same message. It is August in France, after all.
I didn't relish the idea of unpacking the Peugeot and putting all the junk back in the garage, so I just let the car sit there, otherwise unused. Finally, on Tuesday 8/18, I got the organization's standard recording when I called. It spelled out the opening hours for donations and for sales. That meant the place was open again. But we had other things to do on Wednesday, so I had to wait one more day.
Yesterday I drove the 30 minutes over to Romo, hoping the place really would be open. It was. In five minutes time, one of the volunteers and I had the car unloaded and I was off to do some shopping around Romo, which is 4 or 5 times the size of Saint-Aignan and has many more shops and businesses. I got some frozen vegetables at Picard, and some parmesan cheese and lettuce at LIDL.
All pretty exciting stuff, don't you think? Today I'm getting a haircut. Life is a whirlwind.